South African Airways chairwoman Dudu Myeni. Picture: ANA

Parliament - The contract of South African Airways chairwoman Dudu Myeni has been extended until the company's annual general meeting, set down for early November, director general of finance Dondo Mogajane confirmed on Wednesday.

Mogajane told Parliament's standing committee on finance that Myeni's term was due to end at the end of August but "it was then extended to the AGM. We hope the AGM will be held on November 4".

He said Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba wrote to Myeni and asked her to serve until the AGM, prompting Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) chief whip Floyd Shivambu to ask whether the minister had the power to make the decision alone or whether Cabinet approval was needed. 

"What was the letter that was extended and what is the legal standing of the letter," he asked.

MPs then asked to be given copies of the minister's letter to Myeni who was not at the briefing.

The airline was briefing the committee on its latest quarterly report.

SAA currently relies on government guarantees of about R20 billion to stay in operation and international ratings agencies have cited it as a threat to the country's economy. Gigaba is expected to make an announcement on recapitalising the airline in October.