- One of SAA's largest unions says the Standing Committee on Public Accounts must "do more" to hold the department of public enterprises to account for SAA's failure to produce financial statements.
- Numsa says the absence of recent financial statements is blocking members at SAA subsidiaries Airchefs and SAAT from receiving benefits.
- Minister of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan previously told the oversight committee the Auditor-General said he could not conduct an audit while SAA was in business rescue.
One of SAA's largest unions says it will be writing to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) to "do more" to hold the department of public enterprises accountable for embattled state-owned airline SAA's failure to produce financial statements.
"This repeated failure is having a very negative impact on SAA Technical and Airchefs which are subsidiaries of SAA. Workers at both these subsidiaries are suffering because of the non-payment of salaries," said the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa.
SAA was placed into business rescue in December 2019. But the last set of audited financial results available its website are for the 2016/17 financial year, although some more recent unaudited results have been published. As fin24 previously reported, the financial statements of its subsidiaries - Mango, SAA Technical and Air Chefs - usually form part of SAA's.
Numsa said the absence of recent financial statements was blocking members at Airchefs and SAAT from receiving benefits.
It wants the important oversight committee to intervene, saying up-to-date statements would demonstrate the extent of "mismanagement and rampant wastage" at the airline.
A week ago Scopa held a hearing that considered the airline's finances.
It heard from, among others, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, who said his department had spoken to the Auditor-General.
"The Auditor-General said, given the business rescue status of SAA, they had not conducted any audits. So, we have to go back to the Auditor-General to find out what the process would be once SAA is out of business rescue to see how financials could be made available," said Gordhan.
Meanwhile, the airline's rescue practitioners said they hoped to be able to exit the rescue process in a few weeks, while Scopa chair Mkhuleko Hlengwa said that audited financial statements would enable SAA to learn from past mistakes.
Unlike SAA, its subsidiaries are not in business rescue. The DPE is hoping that Parliament will allow a special allocation of R2.7 billion for SAA’s subsidiaries from the R10.5 billion allocated to SAA in last year’s mini budget.
- Additional reporting by Carin Smith