Aviation: South African President moves SAA from Finance back to Ministry of Public Enterprise

SAA TAAG Africa routes

South African President, Cyril Ramamphosa has moved the country’s carrier, South African Airways (SAA), back to public enterprises ministry where it was previously.

According to sowetanlive.co.za, Ramaphosa transferred SAA from the ministry of finance to the ministry of public enterprises‚ Gordhan’s ministry confirmed in a statement‚ after it was initially revealed in a presidential proclamation gazetted on Wednesday.

“In terms of Section 97 of the Constitution… I hereby transfer the administration‚ powers and functions in trusted by the South African Airways Act‚ 2007 and all amendments thereto‚ from the minister of finance to the minister of public enterprises‚ with effect from August 1 2018‚” the proclamation read.
It was signed on July 25.

This means the clean-up at SAA is now in Gordhan’s hands. Gordhan has already been cleaning up the boards and state-owned entities that were seen to be part of the state-capture debacle. In 2014‚ when Nhlanhla Nene was finance minister‚ SAA was moved away from the control of then public enterprises minister Lynne Brown to the finance ministry.

In a statement‚ public enterprises said that the transfer of the airline back under its control came after a study commissioned by National Treasury and public enterprises “to develop the optimal group structure for the state-owned aviation assets”.

“The recommendations from this study‚ if considered appropriate‚ may require implementing changes to the group structure of SAA. As the executive authority for other major state owned companies‚ including SA Express‚ [Gordhan] is best placed to be the custodian of all of the state’s aviation assets. These assets are South African Airways (SAA) and its subsidiary‚ Mango‚ and SA Express‚” the statement read.

According to atqnews.com, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan had earlier announced that South African Airways (SAA), SA Express and Mango are to be merged.
He said that all three airlines currently fly to the same destinations.

“Bringing the airlines together and rationalising their routes and important. Rationalising the kind of aircraft needed at a particular time and day – that’s the experience we’re beginning to learn from airlines around the world,” he said.

“It’s that synergy and savings. Our net guess is that by putting the airlines together, we can go through a transition period where there are going to be difficulties.
“If you have something dysfunctional and (you) try to sell it, you will get little for it. The real challenge is putting the right people in the right places both on boards and management teams, and having the right oversight,” he said.

Gordhan also announced the appointment of a new SA Express board, chaired by Mmakeaya Magoro Tryphosa Ramano, which holds a mix of aviation experience, audit and accountancy backgrounds, among others.

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