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SAA results to be released end April, as AG grapples with technical matters

Feb 23 2018 16:41
Yolandi Groenewald

Johannesburg - South African Airways (SAA) now has untill the end of April to finally table its long-awaited financials results, and will host its annual general meeting (AGM) no later than the end of March.

This comes after SAA again failed to table its 2016-17 annual financial statements at the end of February, while no specific date has been given for its postponed AGM. According to the Companies Act, the meeting should have been held before the deadline of January 28 this year.

National Treasury told Fin24 that the embattled airline and its external auditors, South Africa's auditor general (AG), are currently finalising technical accounting matters

Treasury also said the Companies Tribunal granted SAA an extension by the Companies Tribunal to have its AGM by March 31 2018 at the latest.

The tabling of SAA’s financial results has been postponed to no later than April 30 2018, it stated when questioned on the implications of this for the delayed results.

National Treasury is comfortable that this will allow the AG and the airline sufficient time to address technical accounting matters, it added. 

Treasury also said it has been engaging regularly with the airline on progress made in this matter in its weekly monitoring meetings.

On Thursday Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba asked for an extension for the tabling of the embattled airline’s 2016-17 annual financial statements in Parliament until April 30 2018. This means SAA would have missed the deadline prescribed in the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) by about 8 months. 

The delay by the SAA board in presenting the ailing parastatal's annual financial statements is unacceptable, said Democratic Alliance MP Alf Lees on Thursday. He added that it violated the letter and spirit of the PFMA and the Companies Act which enjoins public entities to table their financial statements timeously.

SAA lost R5.6bn in 2014/15 and R1.5bn in 2015/16.

It received a R3bn bailout from Treasury in 2017 to avoid defaulting on its loan from Citibank. A senior Parliamentary legal adviser had questioned the bailout, Fin24 reported. This was on top of another government bailout of R5bn, including a R2.2bn bailout Treasury granted the airline in June last year to prevent it from defaulting on its loan from Standard Chartered.

Addressing debt issues at SAA was one of the points in Gigaba’s 14-point plan to revive confidence in the economy.

The airline made a deal with domestic lenders in November 2017 to extend the refinancing of R6bn in outstanding loans, Bloomberg reported. He said the DA would ensure that SAA and Gigaba not keep a lid on the financial rot at the airline.

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