Speaking notes for His Excellency President Jacob Zuma on the delivery of South African Airways' (SAA) new Airbus A330-200, SAA Hangar, Cape Town International Airport
8 Feb 2011
Members of Parliament
Board and executive management of South African Airways (SAA)
Local and international companies present
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen
It gives me great pleasure to be among a prestigious gathering such as yours to witness the first of a fleet intended to offer better quality services to our customers, both within and beyond our borders.
Our gathering marks the arrival of the first of a fleet that is set to change and improve the way we fly. More importantly, it marks a bold leap forward by South African Airways (SAA) to utilise advancements in technology to access markets and opportunities to destinations once deemed unreachable.
One of our government’s priorities is to contribute to the development of a revived Africa. Transport is a key instrument to keep us in touch with the continent, so as to boost people to people links and inter-Africa trade.
Our democratic government has long called for our trade and industry sector to take advantages of the opportunities in the continent. We must explore the world too, especially the developing world and emerging economies, as there is a lot to be gained there too. By renewing its fleet, the national carrier is in a better position to advance our objectives as a developmental State, as well as those of playing a more meaningful role on the continent. Africa presents a great possibility for new ventures. As a leading economic force on this continent we must encourage other South African entities to forge ahead with investment into Africa.
I would therefore like to congratulate the Minister, the board and executive management of SAA, for bringing the Airbus A330-200 into our country, the first of which will enter the SAA fleet in the next few days. The national carrier will be a better position to offer its customers service of the highest value comparable to the best airlines in the world.
South Africans will definitely enjoy the facilities in this new aircraft. I am also glad to note that the A330-200 uses less fuel than the model it replaces. This is in keeping with our goal to reduce our carbon footprint and move towards a greener economy.
I am also pleased that Airbus has undertaken to provide suitable commitments to the National Industrial Participation Programme (NIPP) in support of the local manufacturing industry, which will contribute to employment in South Africa. These initiatives mirror the policies we have championed as government.
Let me also use this opportunity, ahead of the State of the Nation Address, to remind the aerospace industry to contribute to skills development by taking in as many apprentices as possible. We need our state owned enterprises and private sector to help us start a massive skills revolution by producing the technical skills that our country needs.
I wish South African Airways success with these new aircraft.
We are fully behind you SAA, as you work to build a thriving and successful airline.
I thank you.
Source: The Presidency
Issued by: The Presidency
8 Feb 2011
[ Top ]