Consumer Watch: STA Travel is bankrupt, but there’s good news for customers who paid by card

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Johannesburg – South African clients and suppliers are out of pocket to the tune of R91 million, and the liquidators argue that STA Travel is hopelessly bankrupt, leaving staff due more than R2.1 million.

However, there is good news for customers: If you paid with a credit or debit card and haven’t gotten service, you can get your money back through your bank.

Hopelessly insolvent

STA Only R3.7 million in assets are available to cover South Africa’s debts of R213.5 million. A statutory hypothec is expected to be used by landlords to recoup millions of rands in unpaid rent from the SA division, which operated out of 22 locations throughout the nation. While these assets were valued at a nett R4.89m, liquidators estimate that just R500000 will be realized from their sale. Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), which offered a guarantee to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), had R3.22 million in cash in bank accounts.

As of October 28, the interim liquidators were Jurgens Steenkamp and Cheryl Jones, from JJS Administrators.

Over R116 million was listed as “doubtful and irrecoverable debt” by the liquidators in their provisional report dated November 5.

Credit card protection

Only consumers who paid with a Mastercard or Visa card can expect a refund.

There is little to no possibility of ever receiving a penny if your payment was made via EFT or direct cash deposit.

STA Travel clients – or victims, as they choose to call themselves – in the local area will be disappointed to learn of this development. Yet another failure of STA can be attributed to the global epidemic as lockdowns damage the travel and hospitality industry.

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