Concerns raised over vacant positions at SAA

Concerns have been brought to light over key positions at SAA currently being filled in an ‘acting’ capacity.

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

CAPE TOWN – A number of parliamentarians have raised concern over vacant positions at South African Airways (SAA) while the carrier is struggling to enhance its financial situation.

The airline reported to the standing committee on finance in Parliament on Wednesday.

SAA’s new board, its acting CEO and CFO and Chairperson Dudu Myeni, as well as Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas attended the meeting.

African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament (MP) Makhosi Khoza was among the committee members who raised concerns over the key positions currently being filled in an ‘acting’ capacity.

“How do you deal with strategy and working around strategy in the absence of a CEO and the absence of a CFO?”

Jonas assured the committee a CEO will be in place before the end of February.

“Depending on whether we find a good candidate for the CEO position, our view has been focus on the CEO because then you can focus on the rest as you go along.”

Myeni says the current number of acting positions came as a result of people being held accountable for doing wrong things.

The national carrier reported on its R1.4 billion loss in the 2015-16 financial year.

This is compared to the R5.6 billion posted the previous year.

Jonas responded to some of the queries from MPs about whether National Treasury is considering privatising SAA.

He says there are a lot of other avenues to consider before such a step will be taken.

“It’s clear that, moving forward, you can’t avoid looking at recapitalisation as well as other mechanisms of bringing money into the airline.”


Tempers also flared during the parliamentary committee meeting.

Myeni was lambasted by various committee members during the sitting, including Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Floyd Shivambu who called her a “bully”.

“The SAA board members were being searched. Like the ones who were there before were told to hand in their notes after meetings.”

In response, Myeni called on him to take her to court over the allegations.

She also made a sarcastic comment aimed at her critics.

“We’re not going to collapse, the airline, and we’ve never collapsed. It’s still soaring in the sky and collecting awards under this leadership of an incompetent chairperson.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)