With South African Airways remaining on the brink of collapse, the South African government has revealed it is looking at creating a new national carrier.

In a statement, the government mentioned the airline would be funded through strategic equity partners, funders and the sale of noncore assets. The government would be the biggest shareholder.

"It will not be the old SAA, but the beginning of a new journey to a new restructured airline, which will be a proud flagship for South Africa," the South Africa's Department of Public Enterprises said in a statement.

"The transition to the new airline may require sacrifices, pain and hardships for all concerned, particularly for those employees who may be displaced," the statement continued. "Unions and the department are working together on a business model that deals with what a new national carrier of the future will be but also crucially how this can be achieved to ensure a competitive edge in safety, quality and costs in the sectors which SAA competes."

"The creation of a new, dynamic airline, with the correct corporate structure, led by skilled, competent and experienced management and staffed at competitive and benchmarked rates will allow for the new SAA to compete in the post Covid-19 world."

Despite promises from the government that no more taxpayer money would be paid into the cash-strapped airline, South Africans were told last week that another lifeline of $212 million was "provisionally" set aside by the government for the airline in this financial year.

South African Airways reported a $896 million loss for the last three years to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa). It has not recorded a profit since 2011 and has received $3.2 billion in government funding since 1994.

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