Gigaba: Jarana has what it takes to turn SAA arround

The 46-year-old Vuyani Jarana will start work as SAA’s new CEO as soon as he’s released by the Vodacom Group.

FILE: Vuyani Jarana. Picture: Vodacom.

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says he believes the Vodacom executive picked to run South African Airways (SAA) has what it takes to turn the troubled national carrier around.

The 46-year-old Vuyani Jarana will start work as SAA’s new CEO as soon as he’s released by the Vodacom Group.

His appointment was given the green light by Cabinet at its Wednesday meeting.

Gigaba, his deputy Sfiso Buthelezi and SAA board members will be appearing before Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance at Parliament on Friday morning.

Jarana will have his work cut out for him as SAA’s losses have been mounting.

Finance ministry spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete said: “We still have a number of areas of focus that we need to work on. We are strengthened by having a CEO who’s going to be at the forefront of making sure that the company is turned around.”

Democratic Alliance Member of Parliament Alf Lees has welcomed Jarana’s appointment, saying he has an impressive record in business.

But he says SAA poses challenges much bigger than those Jarana has faced to date, with its first quarter results showing losses of R1,5 billion.

“If it were a private company, it would either be in liquidation or very close to that.”

SAA also has around R6,7 billion in loans that become due for repayment in September.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)