Gordhan orders SAA to submit outstanding financial statements

The minister has warned that outstanding financial statements must be finalised and presented.

FILE: A South African airways flight takes off as another one is parked in a bay on the tarmac at the Johannesburg O.R Tambo International airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says South African Airways should submit outstanding financial statements to Parliament by Thursday.

Gordhan addressed the National Assembly yesterday saying a medium term focus for the SAA board should see it maintain financial stability and credibility.

Opposition parties have lambasted the SAA board for neglecting to present financial statements for the past two financial years.

The Democratic Alliance says the airline registered a R1.2 billion loss a year after Dudu Myeni was appointed chairperson.

Gordhan has warned that outstanding financial statements must be finalised and presented.

"They must finalise the 2014, 2015 and 2016 annual financial statements, some of them are due in Parliament on 15 September."

He says cost containment is also an area that requires drastic intervention in terms of the airline's operations.

SAA has set aside R4.5 billion for debt repayment between the end of September and January 2017.

The carrier has been given a deadline by Hong Kong authorities to submit their financial documents by the end of this month or face deregistration, after failing to publish its annual statements for the past two years.

Gordhan also said non-executives should not interfere in the day to day operations of the airline.

"This finance committee and the board, as I've said, will need to ensure that they understand fully what are the current loans that SAA has from the private sector and reassure the people who are offering the loans, who will from time to time get nervous about the fact that SAA may not be run well."

Gordhan said there also needs to be a review of the current suspensions in place.

"We've also asked the board to review all the suspensions that are currently in place to see whether they are justified in terms of the law or have happened on an unjustifiable way."