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SAA has become a burden to taxpayers, says Scopa's Hlengwa

Parliament’s finance watchdog the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) said that the country’s state-owned enterprises would be the committee’s first order of business when MPs return from the festive break.

FILE: South African Airways planes. Picture: Facebook.com

CAPE TOWN - Parliament’s finance watchdog the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) said that the country’s state-owned enterprises would be the committee’s first order of business when MPs return from the festive break.

Struggling national carrier SAA and power utility Eskom are the main entities on the committee’s radar when it returns in February.

SAA and Eskom have dominated news since last year, with calls for bailouts for both entities.

While SAA and Eskom present different operational challenges, money, or the lack thereof is at the centre of the entities’ problems.

Standing Committee on Public Accounts chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said that the two companies would be a top feature when they reconvene.

"These problematic SOEs - Eskom, Prasa and SAA - will form the basis of our initial meetings and the draft programme will be circulated to members."

This week SAA made it even more evident that it needed a R2 billion bailout as it resorted to cancelling certain domestic and international flights to save money.

Hlengwa warned that SAA can’t suck all the country’s funds.

"What is key is that SAA in its current form is not sustainable and it has become a burden to the taxpayer."

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