Syndicate at SAA must be dismantled – Scopa

The syndicate operating at SAA that has caused losses for the airline must be dismantled urgently, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has said.

The committee issued a statement on Thursday, following meetings with various departments within SAA and the airline’s board and executive management this week.

The committee was briefed on issues the airline is facing and the steps the board has taken to address corruption.

"Scopa is of the view that the syndicate that is operating at SAA and responsible for so much of the losses that have been experienced by the airline needs to be dismantled as a matter of urgency if SAA is to survive (sic)," the statement read.

"SAA also needs a mindset that is equal to the challenges and responsibilities bestowed upon it – and that will require the board and management of the entity to have a level of seriousness that goes beyond what they have been doing so far if they are to be successful in making SAA profitable again."

Scopa has requested a comprehensive report detailing the interventions dealing with issues of the group. The committee also wants access to SAA’s long-term turnaround strategy, and the Open Water forensic report containing details on the implicated people and corrective actions to be executed.

Earlier this month, President Cyril Ramaphosa transferred SAA back to the Department of Public Enterprises for oversight.  

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday told the portfolio committee that work was being done to consolidate the three airlines SAA, SA Express and Mango. This is an effort to save costs and ensure the sustainability of the airlines.

The boards of the airlines are looking to address technical, fuel and route rationalisation, Gordhan said.

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