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SAA again to fall under Pravin Gordhan as it moves to Public Enterprises

Aug 01 2018 17:15
Carin Smith

President Cyril Ramaphosa has transferred the administration of embattled national carrier SAA from the minister of finance to the minister of public enterprises.

This means that Pravin Gordhan - under whose watch the airline fell before he was axed as minister of finance during the Zuma era - will once again have oversight of the state-owned airline. 

Treasury said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon that a proclamation to this effect was gazetted on August 1 2018.

According to Treasury, the transfer follows a study commissioned by it and the Department of Public Enterprises to develop the "optimal group structure" for state-owned aviation assets. 

"The recommendations from this study, if considered appropriate, may require implementing changes to the group structure of SAA," said Treasury.

"As the executive authority for other major state owned companies, including SA Express, the minister of public enterprises is best placed to be the custodian of all of the state’s aviation assets. These assets are SAA, its subsidiary Mango, and SA Express."

A few weeks ago SAA CEO Vuyani Jarana said the airline will “immediately” start looking for a strategic equity partner. He said that, while SAA leadership initially believed the airline should first “get into shape” in order to make it attractive for potential investors, funding pressures dictated that it start looking for a strategic equity partner immediately.

Former finance minister Malusi Gigaba said in his mini budget in 2017 that the plan is to consolidate SAA and SA Express and to find an equity partner is under way.

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