SAA's business rescue practitioner needs to have the grit of an action movie hero

By Mazwi Xaba Time of article published Dec 7, 2019

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I like the part in action movies when “your new captain” announces himself or herself and takes command of everything and everyone.

Everyone gets ready for action and no one is left in any doubt as to who the larney in charge is - at least temporarily.

Thankfully, the board of SAA and our government have at last jumped - or been pushed - into action. Whatever the motive force, this week’s pivotal development is very welcome. Our beleaguered national airline is finally getting the turnaround it needed for years - business rescue. A new captain has taken over the cockpit.

The big question now is whether this ailing, gluttonous beast addicted to government bailouts can be rehabilitated and flown into the future as a proper, going concern.

The new captain, Les Matuson, has a bucketload of skill and experience. But does he have the requisite grit and gumption, as well as enough of that daredevil streak found in those movie heroes and villains?

The mission must be nothing but business rescue. He must pilot the state-owned enterprise’s affairs, business and property in a way that takes it out of its financial and other crises. 

This week’s development should be welcomed by all taxpayers. Whatever happens to SAA as we know it, it will soon cease to gobble up billions of rands from our empty pockets. The new captain must be fearless and must brook no nonsense or interference from those with private and other agendas.

The Independent On Saturday

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