Chair of Zuma foundation set to become SAA chair

2012-12-13 14:52

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Speculation is rife that Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba is about to announce a prominent member of President Jacob Zuma’s inner circle, Dudu Myeni, as the new chairperson of ailing national carrier SAA.

It is anticipated that Myeni, who is said to have a close personal relationship with Zuma, will take over at the helm of the airline in the new year.

Sources close to the board said that members of the SAA board were informed of the decision this week.

Board members are said to be concerned that a political appointment is the wrong decision during a turbulent time in the aviation industry and the national flagship carrier.

In October this year the state-owned airline reported an operating loss of R1.3 billion, citing a 33%-hike in fuel prices and increases in airport taxes.

Global market and political turbulence caused fuel price hikes during 2012, and oil prices pierced the $110-a-barrel mark.

The previous chairperson, Cheryl Carolus, made an impassioned plea to Parliament for government to recapitalise the airline to the tune of R6 billion.

Soon after the plea for state support, Carolus and seven other board members quit, amid a media storm over delays in the release of the annual results of the company and reports of conflict with the shareholder representative, Gigaba.

The resignation of the board members was followed by an announcement that then CEO Siza Mzimela and two senior managers would also bow out. They left at the end of September.

Gigaba responded to the crisis at the airline by appointing Vuyisile Kona, who is a former senior executive of SAA, as interim executive chairperson.

Gigaba also announced a task team with a mandate to present a turnaround plan for the state’s aviation assets by this weekend.

A member of the board, who declined to be named, said that the industry requires a business savvy turnaround specialist at its helm.

Public Enterprises spokesperson Richard Mantu said he could not “confirm or deny” the speculation that Myeni will be the new chairperson of SAA. He said that an official statement would be released.

Myeni is the chairperson of the Jacob Zuma Foundation, and has courted controversy after an enquiry by the Special Investigative Unit into allegations of corruption and impropriety at the KwaZulu-Natal Water Affairs board was quashed.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.