SA 'haggling' to secure R3bn from Airbus

2011-03-01 13:57

Cape Town - The government is "haggling hard" to get manufacturer Airbus to pay it nearly R3bn, an amount linked to the South African National Defence Force's cancelled contract for eight Airbus A400 aircraft, Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on Tuesday.

Speaking to members of parliament's watchdog standing committee on public accounts, she said the money should have been paid back when the contract was terminated in 2009.

"In terms of the contract that we have with Airbus, the money should have been paid out when the contract was terminated at a particular time, and we are haggling hard to make sure that we can get it back," she said.

Earlier, defence secretary Mpumi Mpofu told MPs that Airbus was claiming it could not pay the lump sum, and were seeking terms.

"They have pleaded they do not have R3bn to pay back in a single cheque," she said.

The matter has been referred to Treasury to approve a repayment schedule.

In November 2009, cabinet announced it was cancelling the contract. It said at the time that the cancellation was due to "extensive cost escalation and the supplier's failure to deliver the aircraft within the stipulated timeframes".

It further said an amount of R2.9bn "would be refunded to National Treasury as per the contract provisions".

  • Insider - 2011-03-01 14:33

    "They have pleaded they do not have R3bn to pay back in a single cheque," she said LOL! And the other side of the story is actually?

  • John - 2011-03-01 14:42

    Another really embarrassing story for any South African. These transport aircraft are far more useful than fighter jets with no missiles, and yet the fighter jets keep arriving but we cancel the military transports that could be used widely every day. We also make a bad name for ourselves with the Europeans, there is actually some prestige to be had from being a launch customer of a new aircraft. They barely went ahead with the programme as it is, and without the SA order it probably wouldn't have happened. There is no sense of pride, logic or intelligence in this government. Another case of doing whatever they want when it suits them and screw the consequences. One day we'll need to move people/food/equipment around in a hurry and all we'll have is a bunch of rusty old C-130s that are already way past their useful lives.

  • Collitjies - 2011-03-01 15:28

    Why do they want 3 billion back, does JZ need a fleet of new Mercs for his harem??

  • uM - 2011-03-01 18:25

    The A400M were way overpriced, late, way over priced, under spec, oh and did I mention way over priced. Not worth it. Get new C130's. If Airbus don't want to pay, maybe SAA should also beg poverty and defer payments. Airbus are simply playing a game.

  • - 2012-11-29 23:14

    Hoe is dit moontlik dat, airbus sluit 'n kontrak van R3bn met die weermag, nou soek 'n internasionale firma om per termyn te betaal!!! Asb wat het Airbus gelewer aan die weermag, behalwe "kickbacks" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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