SOUTH AFRICAN transport minister Mac Maharaj, has confirmed the Government's commitment to the competitive development, of aviation in the sub-Saharan region of Africa, but has warned that some restrictions, must remain for the foreseeable future.

In a speech prepared by Maharaj, but delivered by deputy director of the civil-aviation department Japie Smit at the opening ceremony of Aviation Africa 96, details of a Government Green Paper setting out South African air-transport policy were revealed.

The paper calls for open competition in aviation, but Maharaj says that South Africa will not be implementing a full "open-skies" policy.

According to Maharaj: "We in Africa must develop our markets to their full extent. Until we have achieved this goal...we will have to adopt an approach of calculated protectionism."

Maharaj also recommends tougher financial-entry requirements for new operators to prevent disruption of existing services and to enhance the reliability of new services.

Source: Flight International