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CAPE TOWN - The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) said that a hearing held with the board and executive management of South African Airways (SAA) have negatively impacted the entity.

Scopa met with junior staff members from various departments within SAA, over the past two days over several issues, that contributed to the negative relations

Scopa said in a statement that they were encouraged by the fact that the board and executive management of SAA are aware of the issues that are plaguing the entity which could contribute to a further decline of the airline. 

The government entity said that they are happy that the board and management have formed a forensic investigative team and are in a process of dealing with all the alleged corruption that is currently crippling the SAA. 

Scopa is calling for the syndicate that is operating at SAA needs to be dismantled as a matter of urgency if SAA is to survive.

This syndicate is  responsible for the losses that have been experienced by the airline, Scopa said. 

"SAA also needs a mindset that is equal to the challenges and responsibilities bestowed upon it – and that will require the board and management of the entity to have a level of seriousness that goes beyond what they have been doing so far if they are to be successful in making SAA profitable again."

Scopa said that they have requested the board to provide the committee with a comprehensive report on the SAA group and its subsidiaries with the interventions that have been done to deal with the issues currently plaguing the airline. 

Clean up of SOEs

In early August, it was reported that the clean- up of state-owned entities heated up after the government decided to toss back the restructuring of SAA to the Department of Public Enterprises, placing it firmly under Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan's total control.

The department and National Treasury said that Gordhan was best placed to be the custodian of all of the state's aviation assets.

“The transfer follows a study commissioned by National Treasury and the Department of Public Enterprises to develop the optimal group structure for the state-owned aviation assets,” a joint statement stated.

“The recommendations from this study, if considered appropriate, may require implementing changes to the group structure of SAA.”

Gordhan has gone about restructuring state entities since his appointment in February, with former Transnet, Denel and Eskom boards making way for new ones.