Today’s Die Burger reports have revealed internal memoranda detailing SAA Chairperson, Dudu Myeni’s recommended new destination routes to Treasury despite knowing that these routes would be entirely unprofitable routes the would result in a yearly loss of R256 million. This unilateral decision-making is symptomatic of a chronic malfeasance and maladministration at SAA, under Myeni’s stewardship. Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan in conjunction with Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, need to investigate.
It is high time that we see the suspension of Myeni and the privatisation of the national carrier after years of lurching from crisis to crisis. I will therefore write to Minister Brown and Minister Gordhan such that both Ministers can consider all the evidence before them, clearly showing Myeni’s brazen disregard of the financial and operational health of SAA since the commencement of her tenure as chairperson.
In doing so I will request that Myeni be suspended pending the outcome of such an inquiry and Minister Brown urgently consider- in consultation with the Minister of Finance- conducting a feasibility study for SAA’s privatization to be presented in Parliament.
The reports revealed that Myeni has been trying to set up SAA routes from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and Cape Town to Durban, which would have resulted in a further loss of R256 million per year – if former Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene had not rejected this preposterous idea. Currently these routes are operated by SAA Express and other airlines. In this, she ignored SAA management and executives who did not support this proposal. This reportedly emanates from her friends and MPs “disgruntlement” with having to fly SAA Express or Airlink, which do not offer business class seats.
Comfort and patronage have once again outweighed proper financial management under Ms Myeni.
In recent history SAA has proven unprofitable and has become a fiscal black-hole into which billions pf taxpayer Rands have been ploughed with no results. SAA has had several boards and more than five turnaround strategies; all proving fruitless. It can no longer be tenable for the state to be the primary custodian of a national carrier that has become Myeni’s fiefdom that just hemorrhages money.
These reports also allege that the request for these new routes was at the behest of several ANC MP’s who did not want to fly on low-cost economy flights that already travel these routes. This is indicative of the skewed priorities that the ANC and its caucuses have and points to a majority Chief Whip in Stone Sizani who has lost control of his caucus.
History has shown that taxpayers will ultimately bare brunt of Myeni’s poor management of SAA compounded by an ANC caucus who believe they are too “good” to fly on the airlines that ordinary South Africans use every day.
The DA will remain resolute in the strive to bring troubled SAA back to being the pride of the nation as it once was before the arrival of Dudu Myeni.
Issued by DA