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Gigaba downplays SAA board exodus

Public Enterprises Ministry is not alarmed following the resignation of seven of its board members.

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba. Picture: Sapa

CAPE TOWN - Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba's office on Friday downplayed the resignations of South African Airways (SAA) chairperson Cheryl Carolus and six other board members.

Carolus has reportedly cited a breakdown in relations with the ministry, which is the airline's main shareholder.

Gigaba's office said he only learned of the resignations through the media.

But the ministry's Mayihlome Tshwete said the resignations have been accepted.

Tshwete said new board members will be announced at the airline's annual general meeting in two weeks.

The latest move follows a delay in tabling SAA's financial statements in Parliament.

In February, SAA asked government for aid to buy a new fleet of aircraft.

Early in September, Gigaba announced that there would be no more bailouts for the airline.

However, he said the government had not yet decided on SAA's earlier request.

He also said the airline would have to cut down costs and incentives for its employees.

Since the 2004/05 financial year, the government has bailed out SAA to the tune of R16.8 billion.

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