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Date published 11.09.2017

SOUTH African Airways said last week a start-date for new Chief Executive Officer Vuyani Jarana was still being determined but rejected claims a formal contract was still to be signed.

The appointment of a permanent CEO was one of Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s primary objectives in his bid to stabilise the airline and restore investor confidence.

However, Deputy Shadow Finance Minister Alf Lees sounded alarm bells at the end of last month when he said, “it is quite astounding that the SAA Board Chair does not seem to have knowledge of any signed contract, which leads us to believe Mr. Jarana may not have signed the contract yet”.

The Democratic Alliance has called for debate on the financial position of SAA and questioned the integrity of Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s recovery plan.

Mr. Lees said another financial bailout beyond 2019 was highly likely and, with no guarantee that further financial aid would stabilise the airline,  asserted: “Investors are also not willing [to invest] because of the poor state of SAA.”

SAA confirmed earlier this month cutbacks would be made to its regional and domestic route network in an effort to stem losses. Timelines and specifics had still not been disclosed.

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