SAA CEO-elect to woo banks as first priority | Fin24
  • Load Shedding Schedules

    Find information for Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and other cities.

  • Lockdown

    Once restrictions are lifted, will customers return to SA's malls?

  • Exchange Rates

    The rand is approaching the R20/$ mark. Here's why you should care.


SAA CEO-elect to woo banks as first priority

Sep 01 2017 09:07
Loni Prinsloo and Arabile Gumede, Bloomberg

Vuyani Jarana. (Supplied)

Company Data


Last traded 19
Change 1
% Change 4
Cumulative volume 2789323
Market cap 0

Last Updated: 01/01/0001 at 12:00. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA


Last traded 119
Change 0
% Change 0
Cumulative volume 1526115
Market cap 0

Last Updated: 01/01/0001 at 12:00. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

Related Articles

SAA has never been 'on top of the world' - Zuma

Don't panic, we are not funding SAA - GEPF

Telkom alerts shareholders about state’s SAA rescue mission

It's official: Vuyani Jarana is SAA's new CEO

Questions over new SAA CEO's employment contract

PIC may buy into Telkom to save SAA


Johannesburg - The chief executive officer-elect of South African Airways (SAA) is making his first priority convincing banks that the state-owned carrier’s new leadership is committed to stemming five straight years of losses and repaying its debt.

Lenders and other stakeholders need to be assured that “there is a plan that is plausible for SAA”, Vuyani Jarana said in an interview in Johannesburg. “It’s a public interest company, you have your lenders who are as important as your shareholder.”

Jarana, 46, is due to become SAA’s first permanent CEO since 2015 when he joins the airline from Vodacom [JSE:VOD], South Africa’s largest wireless carrier, where he previously held the position of CEO for its business division.

His appointment comes after Citigroup and Standard Chartered both refused to extend loan terms for SAA, which hasn’t made a profit since 2011 and has been surviving off government bailouts and guarantees.

“There is a strategy in place to ‘stop the bleeding’ and I am confident that it will succeed, and that we can negotiate plans for refinancing,” said Jarana. “The exciting part will be in re-engineering the commercial and growth strategy and improving customer satisfaction at SAA,” he said.

'No miracles'

SAA has been run on an acting basis by chief technical officer Musa Zwane, who was the seventh permanent or temporary CEO of the airline since 2010.

Chairperson Dudu Myeni, a former schoolteacher who also heads President Jacob Zuma’s charitable foundation, has been on the airline’s board since 2009 and acted as the board’s chair until her permanent appointment in 2015. Her contract was renewed for a year in September 2016.

“It is time for a new person in that position,” Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said earlier this month. The airline needs a recapitalisation of at least R10bn and there are plans to strengthen the board, he said. It is talks with lenders about R6.9bn of loans coming due by the end of next month.

The government is considering options about reducing its 39% stake in Telkom [JSE:TKG], the country’s largest fixed-line operator said on Wednesday, which could be used to fund SAA.

The airline hasn’t started preparing its annual financial statements because it is waiting for the capital injection from the government, Business Day reported on Friday, without saying where it got the information. Myeni, whose term ended on August 31, will serve until the next annual general meeting, the newspaper said, adding that SAA has asked the finance ministry to postpone the AGM to January.

Jarana, who still needs to serve out his notice period at Vodacom, the terms of which haven’t been disclosed, said he will ensure he surrounds himself with the right people to turn around the debt-laden airline. “I would want to see more people with airline and international experience joining me at SAA,” he said. 

“There will be no miracles at SAA,” Jarana said. “You need management and a board that is committed to transform the airline and return it to profitability.”

SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE UPDATE: Get Fin24's top morning business news and opinions in your inbox.

Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter:



Company Snapshot

Voting Booth

Do you support a reduction in the public sector wage bill?

Previous results · Suggest a vote