Cape Town - FNB CEO Jacques Celliers will fly SAA once again, after a positive engagement with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba regarding the national carrier’s governance issues.
On August 14, Celliers tweeted that he would no longer fly SAA because “this abuse has to come to an end”.
“As from today I'm not flying on SAA anymore. Instead I'll be supporting the honourable alternatives,” he said.
Gigaba’s spokesperson, Mayihlome Tshwete, told Fin24 the following day that the minister would engage with the chief executive to understand his concerns. This occurred on Friday.
Following the engagement, Tshwete told Fin24 that Celliers’ main concerns focused on governance issues. However, Celliers said he was happy with the appointment of the new SAA chief executive, Vuyani Jarana, according to Tshwete.
“Mr Celliers thinks the new CEO will need board support and a good team around him,” said Tshwete. “The minister has agreed to engage with the CEO and big business on the turn-around strategy of SAA.”
Tshwete explained the importance of engaging with Celliers. “FNB is amongst the biggest companies in South Africa and their database is huge,” he said. “If all their employees don’t fly with SAA, it would be a major issue. They are also a potential lender to SAA. What they think matters. We need FNB to be fully supportive of SAA.”
In return, Celliers has agreed to give more constructive support in future, said Tshwete.
“The FNB CEO will organise other big businesses to meet with new SAA CEO,” he said.
Tshwete said that they expect Jarana to start work in October; however, they are attempting to get him on board earlier.
The national airline is facing severe liquidity issues and has come under increasing scrutiny in Parliament.
It was revealed this week that Gigaba is engaging with other ministers to investigate the option of selling government’s R14.4bn stake in Telkom to provide it with equity to recapitalise the airline.
Photos from Friday's meeting:
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