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SAA can't table financial statements for fear of audit disclaimer, MPs told

Members of the SAA board and management on Wednesday briefed Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts about the reasons for the non-tabling of annual statements.

FILE: A South African Airways flight takes off as another one is parked in a bay on the tarmac at OR Tambo International airport in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - South African Airways (SAA) executives have told Parliament that they still could not table the company's annual financial statements for fear of an audit disclaimer.

Members of the SAA board and management on Wednesday briefed Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts about the reasons for the non-tabling of annual statements.

SAA management said that the airline could alternatively prepare its financial statements on a liquidation basis but the implications of liquidation could potentially be catastrophic for the airline and the country.

Board member Martin Kingston reminded MPs that the company was technically insolvent but he warned against liquidation.

"There is an alternative. Instead of preparing accounts on a going concern basis, we could prepare them on a liquidation basis. To do that, we need to place the company into liquidation. There are consequences that I have to say are catastrophic in the context of placing SAA into liquidation."

Parliamentarians, however, didn’t take too kindly to the fact that the statements were still outstanding.

Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa:

"What we can't allow is entrenching this non-submission as a norm. We cannot, otherwise, we are aiding and abetting the crisis."

The committee instructed the national carrier to provide it with key documents before another next meeting later this month.

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