The Finance Department is expected to announce the details of the Airbus deal shortly, with the deadline for the signing of a contract today.
SA Air2The South African Airways (SAA) board needs to sign a revised lease agreement with the French company to avoid paying a more than R1-billion delivery fee.

However, the state-owned carrier is proposing an amendment to the deal that will see a middleman purchasing the Airbus planes on its behalf.

The department, under former minister Nhlanhla Nene, stated that the proposed amendments to the Airbus deal made no financial sense.

Nene then ordered the SAA board to implement the original agreement with Airbus to avoid the penalty.

Reappointed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is now expected to make an announcement on the way forward regarding the procurement of the planes.

The Helen Suzman Foundation has threatened to take legal action to ensure that Nene’s decision isn’t reversed.

The Airbus leasing agreement has been at the centre of speculation around Nene’s controversial axing from the National Treasury.