South Africa’s airports were owned and operated by the state until 23 July 1993, when Airports Company South Africa was officially established and nine airports were transferred to the company. The company’s sole shareholder from then, until partial privatisation was the state, through the Ministry of Transport.
In April 1998, i di Roma, an Italian airports-management firm, won a competitive bid to become Airports Company South Africa's strategic equity partner and paid R819 million for 20% of the company's shares. The bidding process revealed that top international airport companies had high regard for entity's professionalism, and confidence in the company’s inherent value – indicating just how well it measured up to international best practices.
Other shareholders include five empowerment consortia: G10 Investments, Telle Investments, Pybus Thirty-34, Up-Front Investments 64 and Lexshell 342 Investments Holdings. Together they own 4.2%.
Airports Company South Africa is now a mature organisation. We have emerged from a phase of radical, sustained transformation and reconstruction to become an efficient, expanding commercial company with a skilled and motivated management team and staff.
An important development has been the introduction of a balanced scorecard management system. This multi-dimensional system enables us and our stakeholders to consider business's objectives, decisions and actions - and to assess our progress - in relation to four major determinants of business success: financial performance, customer satisfaction, business systems and human capital development. This approach enables Airports Company South Africa to plan for a future filled with technological, global, economic and regulatory challenges. It enables us to use our assets - including brand, expertise and intellectual capital - to the full.
Our success as a commercial, world-class, globally competitive company is a model for successful privatisation. Airports Company South Africa is a prime example of how an innovative, private-enterprise undertaking can emerge from a loss-making, state-run institution.