Public Enterprises Minister Lynn Brown File picture: Ian Landsberg/ANA Pictures

JOHANNESBURG - Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has written to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to ask her to postpone the tabling of South African Express (SAX) financials.

In her letter to Mbete Brown said the SAA subsidiary would not table the financials until the issue of the going concern had been resolved.

“SAX has yet to submit the annual report, including audited annual financial statements for the 2016/17 financial year. In terms of the Companies Act...SAX is required to demonstrate its ability to continue operating on a going concern basis for a period of at least 12 months after the signing of the annual financial statements by satisfying the solvency and liquidity test set out in section 4 of the Companies Act,” said Brown.

“SAX has yet to satisfactorily demonstrate such ability to the Auditor-General. As a result the audit cannot be completed in order to finalise the 2016/17 annual financial statements.” 

SAX told parliament two weeks ago that t was faced with a major financial crisis. 

Departments and State-Owned Entities have until the end of September to table their audited results to parliament. However, they can seek an extension from Mbeke if there are issues that still need to be resolved in the financials.

SAA delayed its results for two years until a new board was appointed by the cabinet late last year.

Brown said the government was in discussion over the merger of SAA, SAX and Mango to improve the balance sheet of the airline.

Deputy Minister of Finance Sifiso Buthelezi also told the finance committee yesterday that the National Treasury was looking at several options to revive the finances of SAA.

He said one of the options was to find the 25% equity partner.

This was supported by even ANC MPs that the equity partner could strengthen the balance sheet of SAA.

Buthelezi said they can even raise this issue with the banks who are owed by SAA.

“In the mix of solving the problems of SAA there is the question of the strategic equity partner we are considering. The question of the strategic equity partner is somebody in the aviation industry. It will help strengthen our balance sheet,” said Buthelezi. 

- BUSINESS REPORT