Letter from Gordhan: SAA to get new CEO soon

Cape Town - The process of appointing a new chief executive officer for South African Airways is expected to be finalised in a matter of days.

This was revealed in a letter sent to the Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete.

"[It] is anticipated that the process of appointing the chief executive officer (CEO) will be concluded by the end of March 2017," said Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in the letter seeking permission to delay tabling SAA's corporate plan.

Gordhan was suppose to table the plan for the 2017/18 to 2019/20 financial years to Parliament under the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act of 2009.

"With the assistance of the restructuring adviser and restructuring officer, the SAA is currently undertaking a review of its long-term strategy and corporate plan which is expected to be completed by the end of June 2017," Gordhan said.

He asked Mbete for permission to table the 2017/18 financial year plan before the end of March and the remainder before the end of July.

“The fact that the appointment of the CEO is yet to be finalised and the Minister’s request for approval of a deviation in the tabling of SAA’s corporate plan are indicative of the turmoil and legacy complications created by the previous board with Dudu Myeni at the helm," said DA deputy finance spokesperson Alf Lees.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni at a meeting. (File photo: Gallo Images)

Myeni has been criticised that she is an ally of President Jacob Zuma and that the president ensured her re-appointment to the SAA board, despite the national carrier suffering billions of rands of losses over the last two years under her watch.

In September 2016, the government granted SAA an additional going-concern guarantee of R4.7bn, increasing its total guarantees to R19.1bn. The additional guarantee was approved after the new board was appointed, as Treasury refused to provide the amount while the board was not in place.

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