Irrational and irresponsible to keep Myeni on SAA board‚ says DA

SAA chairwoman Dudu Myeni
Picture: Veli Nhlapo

The Democratic Alliance says a media report that South African Airways board chairperson Dudu Myeni has asked the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) for R6-billion to bail out the beleaguered airline is yet another reason why she should be dismissed.

“While the PIC reportedly refused these requests this is yet another reason‚ to add to the mountain of reasons to remove Myeni. She now appears to be involved in the planned raid on pensioners’ money to prop up SAA and other bankrupt State-Owned Enterprises‚” said DA deputy spokesman on finance Alf Lees.

Saying PIC boss Dan Matjila apparently had to answer to allegations against him that were mysteriously apparently leaked after he turned down Myeni’s request‚ Lees said it was concerning that Matjila was apparently unable to do his job without political interference.

“The Minister of Finance‚ Malusi Gigaba‚ is dead wrong. The presence of Ms Dudu Myeni on the SAA board at all‚ let alone as Chair‚ is neither a legal requirement nor is it prudent. In fact‚ it is downright irrational and completely irresponsible of Gigaba to try to find technical means to retain Myeni on the SAA board‚” Lees added.
He said SAA had been in constant need of rescuing was facing a R10-billion funding crisis in a few days’ time.

He added that the setbacks for SAA continued to pile up. These included:
– Citibank has reportedly refused to extend their R 1.8-illion loan beyond the 30th of September 2017;
– The balance of the lenders of the R 6.8 billion due for payment by the 30th of September 2017 have apparently indicated their reluctance to extend their loans particularly if Myeni remains on the SAA board;
– The international ratings agencies are watching how Gigaba handles the SAA crisis very closely; and
– There is no time left for any special appropriation bill to be passed by Parliament before the 30th of September 2017.

“With Matjila facing an internal audit for doing his job‚ it’s difficult to have faith in the PIC when the politically connected seek access to the R1.9-trillion of pension money that Matjila manages to further enrich themselves. It’s unethical to use the citizens’ hard-earned pension funds to rescue the failing SAA‚ once again.

“Despite all this‚ Gigaba is prepared to put the economic future of South Africa‚ and the 9.3 million unemployed South Africans‚ at risk in order to comply with the wishes of President Jacob Zuma to keep his close friend Dudu Myeni on the SAA board‚” Lees asserted.

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