Mandela grandchild pleads for Skywise | Fin24
 
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Mandela grandchild pleads for Skywise

Dec 07 2015 17:22
Carin Smith

Cape Town - Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter Ndileka Mandela said on Monday she wants to see the issue of Skywise’s grounding resolved.

Airports Company SA (Acsa) suspended Skywise's flights on December 2 due to unpaid airport charges for landing, take off, parking of aircraft and related service charges.

According to a statement issued by Skywise, Mandela wants to see the government authorities approach a resolution "in line with her grandfather’s humanitarian nature and wisdom".

“My grandfather would would have considered loss of income to employees and the fact that strategic businesses require a conducive environment to grow and boost the economy and create jobs,” said Mandela, who is a brand ambassador of the airline.

She explained that Skywise, through its corporate social investment programme, was assisting several communities in South Africa, including the Thembekile Mandela Children’s Foundation, which she founded.

“The airline has done quite well for South Africa and deserves to be treated fairly. Before it could make any profits, Skywise extended a hand to organisations and must be commended for their humanitarian work across the country,” said Mandela.

“It pains me to see that a simple matter like renegotiating payment terms has turned out to be such as fiasco, disadvantaging thousands of people. Government and its public institutions are supposed to look after citizens properly.”

Mandela added that government should also look at supporting women entrepreneurs in the aviation industry like Skywise co-chair Tabassum Qadir.

“Tabassum has put all her savings into trying to reduce unemployment and provide affordable air fares. She employs more than 200 people who will be without jobs anytime from now, if her airline is not saved now,” said Mandela.

Skywise has already appealed to President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters, Acsa and SAA for assistance. It is also looking for investors.

skywise  |  aviation  |  airlines
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