Jacques Celliers: Linkedin

CAPE TOWN - Democratic Alliance MP Alf Lees is standing behind FNB CEO Jacques Celliers and his decision to not fly with South African Airways.

According to Fin24, Celliers tweeted on Monday that he will not fly with the airline again, stating that the “abuse has to come to an end”. 

Celliers also went on to say that he would rather support the “honourable alternatives”.

Lees on Tuesdays, then went on to say that other bank executives and leadership should follow in Celliers's footsteps, especially if the banks are owed money by the national carrier.

Lees called Celliers’s action a brave move by a banking CEO. He argued that SAA cannot continue to be a weight on the taxpayers of South Africa.

It should be noted that the DA has not publicly stated that they will boycott SAA, but Lees himself does not support the airline and therefore does not fly with SAA.

Earlier this month, SAA insisted in Parliament, it would be able to pay its staff and suppliers, despite facing a financial crisis.

SAA’s appearance in Parliament on 4 August came as Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba warned the airline it would not get “free money” from the state to stay afloat.

Also read: SAA insist they can pay staff and suppliers

The cash crisis led to reports it was so broke it would not be able to pay its staff. The airline needs a multibillion-rand rescue package from the state to stay afloat.

Despite the financial crisis, acting chief executive Musa Zwane and chief financial officer Phumeza Nhantsi assured MPs the airline would be able to meet their financial obligations and pay staff salaries.

A new CEO was named earlier this month as well. Former Vodacom executive Vuyani Jarana was confirmed by The National Treasury to help the embattled national carrier move in the right direction.