South Africa's plan to partially privatise its national airline South African Airways is in trouble because the country's competition regulator may not approve the deal, news website Semafor reported on Thursday, 23 February.

The South African government in 2021 signed a deal with the Takatso Consortium to sell a majority stake in the state-owned carrier to the consortium, which had promised to invest over R3bn ($164.71m) to revive the airline.

The involvement of Global Airways, which is part of the consortium and owns the regional airline Lift, could pose a market consolidation risk and is a point of concern for the authorities at South Africa's Competition Commission, Semafor said.

The competition watchdog has begun investigating the possibility that the new company would stifle competition if the deal goes through, Semafor added, citing officials at the ministries of finance and public enterprises, and an official at the government-chosen consortium.

The regulator did not respond to Reuters' request for comment late on Thursday, 23 February.




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