‘New SAA boss by the end of July’

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS NEWS - Di­neo Faku

FI­NANCE Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba ex­pects the ap­point­ment of a new chief ex­ec­u­tive of the em­bat­tled SAA to be fi­nalised by the end of the month.

“So much has hap­pened at SAA. So many chief ex­ec­u­tives have come and gone. So much money has been in­vested in the air­line for guar­an­tees and bail outs. A point must be reached where we no longer in­vest pub­lic re­sources to fund in­ef­fi­cien­cies,” he told jour­nal­ists as he unpacked the 14-point plan to re­vi­talise the econ­omy.

Gi­gaba said the SAA board had sub­mit­ted the name of a pre­ferred can­di­date for chief ex­ec­u­tive and that he had ap­plied his mind.

“We need to ap­point a chief ex­ec­u­tive with ex­pe­ri­ence in man­ag­ing a com­pany of this size. At the end of the day South Africa be­lieves that we should have an air­line that works,” he said.

As part of the 14-point ac­tion plan Gi­gaba will lead the fi­nal­i­sa­tion and the im­ple­men­ta­tion of SAA’s five-year turn­around plan by De­cem­ber 2019 and ne­go­ti­ate with lenders to ex­tend debt to longer-term by the end of Oc­to­ber.

It was re­ported that the air­line had suf­fered a loss of R734 mil­lion in May, just two months into the start of the new fi­nan­cial year. This was in ad­di­tion to an­other loss of R1.5 bil­lion last year and R4.5bn in the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year.

The weak bal­ance sheets of state-owned en­ti­ties have been among the big­gest risk to South Africa’s debt out­look.

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