Country sick and tired of supporting SAA‚ says Gigaba

Speaking at the SARS head office in Orlando East‚ Gigaba said: “I want that airline off my list of top priorities.

“We just need to resolve the SAA dilemma. It’s been going on for far too long.”

He said the message applied to all state-owned entities and government guarantees needed to support infrastructure rather than governance lapses.

Gigaba said that as the minister of finance he was empowered to take certain actions and had a certain time frame to explain to Parliament about the weekend’s R2.3-billion bailout for SAA and why it became a route to take.

“We have not affected the fiscal framework in any way‚” he said.

Treasury would provide a report at the midterm budget‚ he said‚ and it was important that SAA must finalise the appointment of a new‚ “competent” CEO.

SAA needed to implement a strict turnaround‚ which would be overseen by a task team from Treasury‚ Gigaba said. “There are strict conditions I am setting out in this regard.”

He said action to strengthen the board and appoint a new chairperson would be taken in August. An aviation specialist would be hired before that.

Economists and MPs have been critical of the latest bail-out of the airline‚ saying the R2.3bn cash injection came with no stringent conditions imposed‚ and more bail-outs seemed inevitable. – BusinessLIVE