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Gigaba: SAA needs an aggressive turnaround

SAA says that it needs at least R13 billion over the next five years to keep its planes in the sky.

FILE: Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says an "aggressive" turnaround will be required at South African Airways (SAA) and it will be led by the new chief executive Vuyani Jarana.

Gigaba on Friday morning told Parliament's finance committee that the national carrier is facing financial challenges of a short to medium nature.

SAA says that it needs at least R13 billion over the next five years to keep its planes in the sky.

Gigaba says the airline will need to tighten its internal controls if this latest turnaround is to be successful.

"Unless we deal with those issues and establish very clear internal controls, we are likely to fall into the problems in which we've had in the last few years."

But Gigaba believes the airline's financial woes can be overcome.

"We don't need to do something that is so huge in order to address the liquidity challenges. There are quick wins."

EXECUTIVE PAY CUTS

SAA’s acting chief executive Musa Zwane has outlined a number of measures to address liquidity problems at the ailing airline.

This includes cancelling routes and a freeze on filling vacancies.

He’s told Parliament’s Finance Committee that the airline’s executives will also be taking a 5% salary cut.

Chief executive Musa Zwane says the airline will be retiring some of its bigger planes and downgrading aircraft to Cape Town.