SAA board set to face grilling in Parliament

MPs are expected to grill the board over the national carrier’s financial results and turnaround plans.

FILE: A South African airways flight takes off from the Johannesburg O.R Tambo International airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - South African Airways (SAA) board members will appear before Parliament's Standing Committee on Finance today.

It will be the first time that members of the newly appointed board face Members of Parliament, who are expected to grill them over the national carrier's financial results and turnaround plans.

Board chairperson Dudu Myeni was reappointed to lead the board for another year.

SAA's preliminary financial results for the year 2014/15 showed a loss of more than R4 billion, with a further R1,8 billion loss projected for 2015/16.

But it is Myeni's reappointment that has opposition MPs hot under the collar.

The Democratic Alliance's Alf Lees says: "As Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan pointed out there are guarantees, however, they could become a liability and a cash drain on the fiscus is SAA is not turned around and under the leadership of Dudu Myeni, we have severe reservations about whether SAA can be turned around."

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan extended a further guarantee of about R5 billion to SAA but under a list of strict conditions, aimed at getting the beleaguered airline back on track.