As confirmed on Friday, September 2, Dudu Myeni has been officially reappointed as the board chairperson of the South African Airline (SAA).
A Cabinet chaired by Minister Susan Shabangu deliberated on a list that was presented to them. Eventually, it was decided that Myeni should retain her post as the board chairperson of the troubled airline.
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However, the decision to retain Dudu Myeni not only as a member of the SAA board‚ but also as the chair of the board has stirred some criticisms. Shortly after the reappointment was confirmed, opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) termed it a disaster for South Africa.
The DA went on to list some of the reasons why Myeni is a bad choice for the post. They include:
- Under Myeni’s watch‚ the SAA has failed to publish annual financial statements for 2014/15,
- The troubled airline recorded an apparent loss of R 4.7 billion,
- She ran SAA at a R1.3 billion loss for the first quarter of 2016/17, and
- Under her watch‚ the SAA had irrationally suspended officials‚ Possibly because they tried to curb corruption.
According to DA’s deputy shadow minister of finance Alf Lees , “The DA believes that Ms Myeni’s record at SAA is so poor that we are urgently considering which legal action would be appropriate.”
In summary, Dudu Myeni has been largely criticized for playing a role in the financial downturn of the state-owned airline. Thus, there has been incessant calls for her to be axed. But instead she was reappointed.
SAA has received a number of government bailouts worth at least R14.4 billion over the years. Nevertheless, the airline still stands to request for another R5 billion guarantee from Treasury.
We are also made to understand that the announcement of the new board will see finance minister Pravin Gordhan signing off on the guarantee to prevent further crises at SAA. He will also pave the way for the it’s financial report to be released later in September.
Gordhan hinted that Treasury managed to include new board members that could keep the controversial chairperson in check.