SAA is bleed­ing the coun­try dry

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Kevin Goven­der

I HAVE never been a fan of Min­is­ter of Fi­nance Malusi Gi­gaba.

There is some­thing about his me­thod­i­cal gait and prissy man­ner that pro­vokes dis­like. A Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma emis­sary, he has risen like a phoenix from the ashes to an­nounce a res­cue con­trivance for SAA. SAA is a “co­conut air­way”, just like the song – pachy­der­mous on the out­side and hol­low on the in­side. Now Gi­gaba, rat­tling sabres, em­barks on a con­ver­sion as dra­matic as Paul on the road to Da­m­as­cus.

While pal­lia­tive moves are es­sen­tial to keep the air­line from nose-div­ing, SAA has al­ways been like a but­ter­fly look­ing to es­cape its flawed chrysalis. SAA op­er­ates daily flights to Wash­ing­ton and New York, yet 76 US na­tion­als are em­ployed by them, of which 57 are based at an of­fice in Fort Laud­erdale, Mi­ami.

This ghost of­fice con­tin­ues to pay these em­ploy­ees an av­er­age of R65 328 per month, about R4.96 mil­lion per an­num.

This was just one of the gross op­er­a­tional short­falls due to poor lead­er­ship by Dudu Myeni which was re­vealed in the ENSAfrica foren­sic au­dit.

In­dian bil­lion­aire Anand Mahin­dra re­cently said he was not brave enough to take in debt-laden Air In­dia af­ter the In­dian gov­ern­ment said it would pri­va­tise the ail­ing na­tional car­rier. Air In­dia is reel­ing with a deficit of R104 bil­lion, which has prompted the gov­ern­ment to sell it off.

Gi­gaba ap­point­ing a new chief ex­ec­u­tive may be apoc­ryphal. How do we stop the rape of state cof­fers by SAA?

How do we stop air­line’s rape of state re­sources?

Shall­cross

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