Parliament committee concerned about slow transformation in aviation sector
Johannesburg - The apparent lack of transformation in South Africa's aviation industry is concerning, with the majority of pilots and cabin crew still being white, Parliament's portfolio committee on transport said on Tuesday.
In a statement issued a day after a meeting held via video conferencing with officials from airports management firm Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) and the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), the committee said some of its members had suggested reducing the fees for pilot training to make it more accessible.
"Continue to bring hope to our people, bring hegemony by empowering those who have not been empowered. We understand the challenges of Covid-19, but the issue of transformation needs to be addressed urgently,” committee chairman Mosebenzi Zwane said.
Deputy transport minister Dikeledi Magadzi, who participated in the virtual meeting as her department oversees the entities, said Acsa and SACAA's strategic and annual performance plans were outdated as they had been prepared before the Covid-19 outbreak which has brought the aviation industry to a standstill.
South Africa imposed a nationwide lockdown from March 27 in an effort to limit transmissions of the coronavirus, grounding airline travel among other restrictions. Governments in many other countries around the world have made similar moves.
Magadzi said a process was underway to review Acsa and SACAA's plans to respond to Covid-19 and map a “way forward which should get back the industry to its glorious days and ensure that it contributes to rebuilding the South African economy”.
Acsa officials told the parliament committee that South African airports were ready for the anticipated down-scaling of the lockdown to "level 3", under which limited domestic flights would be allowed to resume.
African News Agency/ANA