03 August 2020

SAX Employees engage Uprise.Africa to save the Airline through “Alternative” Funding Option

Submitted by Elsabe Booyens
SAX Employees engage Uprise.Africa to save the Airline through “Alternative” Funding Option

Johannesburg, 03 August 2020 - In a novel, de-risked funding strategy, a group of South African Express employees have engaged an equity funding platform, Uprise.Africa, to assist in raising the capital needed to save SA Express.

The group strongly believes that SA Express (SAX) is a national asset that should be salvaged and definitely not liquidated. They further believe that the company is a viable business and if rescued with the correct strategy, could be a very profitable one.

“Liquidating SAX translates into slicing through the very artery that feeds the minor towns and cities in SA, and closing the gateway to our more rural areas,” said SAX spokesperson Michael Hlatshwayo in a statement.

“One of the major factors in improving our economy would be to stimulate internal travel by South Africans taking ‘sho’t lefts’ through the country. Without a skilled carrier such as SAX, this becomes difficult for many everyday South Africans.”

In addition to the loss of access to cities and towns, liquidating SAX will have a massive detrimental effect on the staff. SAX directly employs skilled and moderately skilled South Africans. 60% of these citizens are in the minor cities, providing jobs, livelihoods and a vital economic lifeline to thousands of people in the cities. 30% of the staff complement come from the rural areas where skills are severely underdeveloped, but with the assistance from companies such as SAX, skills could be recognized and developed.

“The airlines internal financial troubles stem from political interference in its operations, nepotism, poor controls and poor management, exacerbated by external challenges – we can change this! “added Michael Hlatshwayo

 “SAX’s fundamental business models are sound with small, cost-efficient aircraft, under-serviced destinations and exclusive, high-value routes. The execution of a revised business model and right-sized operation, by competent management, free of political interference, will return the airline to profitability.”

Another imperative on the agenda for SAX employees is for the Department of Enterprise to give the employees their well-deserved retrenchment packages.

A ‘survival mode’,” is important for them to emerge with stronger mindset to shape their future vision with a new perspective and lay the foundation for implementing this new approach. It takes a lot of hard work to publicize your offering and attract potential investors,” says Tabassum Qadir, the CEO of Uprise.Africa,

An initial review of the proposed Business Plan was conducted by Uprise.Africa’s Legal and Compliance team, and consequently an Expression of Interest was submitted to the Provisional Liquidator through its appointed Agents - GoIndustry DoveBid SA (PTY) LTD. The proposal will need to be approved by the liquidators, shareholders and relevant authorities.

Uprise.Africa will appoint Lufthansa Consulting to conduct further Due Diligence of the project before it goes live on the platform to its registered, accredited national and international investors.

“This is great news for SAX, the Employees and the greater South Africa as it brings a spark of hope to many businesses facing the same prospects,” says SAX spokesperson in closing.

About Uprise.Africa

Uprise.Africa is an equity funding platform that works with entrepreneurs, to raise capital for their businesses and provides investors with a new, alternative investment option.
Uprise.Africa is proud to be acknowledged as the “only one true equity crowdfunding platform in South Africa” by the Fin-tech Scoping report conducted by Genesis Analytics in collaboration with The World Bank and Intergovernmental Fin-Tech Working Group (IFWG) in South Africa.

Through equity crowdfunding, Uprise.Africa empowers entrepreneurs to raise between R3 million and R250 million in exchange for equity shares. Within the rapidly expanding alternative finance industry, Equity crowdfunding is emerging as a popular method for business rescue.
Equity Crowdfunding is a mechanism by which a broad group of investors can fund the project in return of Equity. The Non-Monetary motivations of Equity Crowdfunding investors, such as being part of an exciting project, or receiving non-tangible rewards can explain, why they may be willing to accept more risk or less return than traditional risk capital investors.

Since the Equity crowdfunding platform was launched, the need for a secondary market to trade the shares was recognised as an essential means of providing liquidity to the Crowd investors and this was achieved by a Joint Venture with a Stock Exchange in South Africa. Should the SA Express crowdfunding project be successful the investors will have options to trade their shares on Zarx.

The platform has been recognized both globally and locally and amongst many other accolades, have been awarded with the following:

  • Winner of GovTech ICT Public service award for best SMME – 2019
  • Winner of Fast Company – Most Innovative companies 2019
  • Winner of Most innovative Online platform for Investment in South Africa – Global Business Outlook Award UK