“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.
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It was reported that the airline had suffered a loss of R734million in May, just two months into the start of the new financial year. This was in addition to another loss of R1.5billion 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.