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SAA could see group structure changes as govt considers study recommendations

It was announced on Wednesday that oversight for SAA has been transferred back from the Finance Ministry to that of Public Enterprises, now under the leadership of Pravin Gordhan.

FILE: An SAA aircraft. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN – South African Airways (SAA) could see changes to its group structure, as the government considers the best options for the embattled state-owned airline and its subsidiaries, Mango and SA Express.

It was announced on Wednesday that oversight for SAA has been transferred back from the Finance Ministry to that of Public Enterprises, now under the leadership of Pravin Gordhan.

Gordhan on Wednesday also announced the appointment of a new acting chief executive for the ailing SA Express.

Siza Mzimela’s been part of the team working to stabilise the cash-strapped carrier’s operations and finances since its fleet was temporarily grounded by the Civil Aviation Authority in May.

The government is considering the recommendations of a study commissioned by Treasury and the Department of Public Enterprises on the best configuration for SAA and its subsidiaries, Mango and SA Express.

If deemed appropriate, this could see SAA’s group structure change.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament, Alf Lees, says that transferring oversight back to the Department of Public Enterprises comes as no surprise.

“However, changing the overseeing department does not fix SAA. SAA remains in deep, deep trouble.”

The airline is expected to require more billions in public funds as it tries to make the long haul into financial health.

“We would like to see the study which the ministers refer to in their joint statement, which deals with the consolidation of the so-called state aviation assets and I’ve written to the minister of finance to request a copy.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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