The South African Airways (SAA) says one Sizwe Zuma is in the list of top potential new jet fuel suppliers for the SA airline.
Giving the confirmation at the supplier engagement summit, the state-owned enterprise said though it is yet to ascertain whether the name Sizwe Zuma is related to President Jacob Zuma, the name was found on the list of the airline’s top fuel suppliers.
SAA reported this to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in a written response to a parliamentary question by DA’s public enterprise’s spokeswoman Natasha Mazzone over the alleged capture of the enterprise by Zuma cronies.
News24 reported in July that SAA’s chairwoman Dudu Myeni requested SAA chief procurement officer Masimba Dahwa last year to add the name of Sizwe Zuma and 10 other companies to a list of potential new jet fuel suppliers.
Dudu Myeni has since her appointment as SAA board chief, been faced with many public criticisms accusing her of playing a good role in the financial downfall of the airline which has climaxed in the recent years.
She is also accused of being a close ally of President Zuma who joined a few other Zuma cronies to hijack state-owned enterprises, particularly the SAA.
SAA’s losses for 2014/15 are R5.6 billion – almost a billion rand more than the figure announced last week and critics, as well as opposition parties, seek to know how the debt accumulated.
SAA said it was not privy to information on whether or not he was related to the president, “as soliciting such detail isn’t part of the standard operating procedure”, which is based on the Public Finance Management Act.
It said supplier engagement summits were an acceptable business practice.
“In general, being listed on the supplier database is by no means a guarantee that a company will be awarded a contract, as normal procurement processes apply to everyone, including those companies not listed,” the airline said.
SAA said its jet fuel contracts were worth about R10bn a year and that the airline was looking for new empowerment partners for them.
Addressing this, the spokesperson for the presidency Bongani Ngqulunga denied Sizwe Zuma being a “blood relation” to the president but the report linked him closely to the president.
Meanwhile, SAA financial statements stated that consolidated annual revenue was stagnant at R30-billion and a net operating loss of R4.2-billion was recorded with the weaker rand contributing to the decline. Impairments amounting to R1.9-billion and finance costs of R490-million (R263-million the previous year) also impacted on the bottom line.
Savings of R790-million were made during the year by cutting costs‚ adding to the R1.5-billionn savings of the previous two years.
The SAA, however, believes that the reappointment of Dudu Myeni as the board chair will lead to a better airline while Myeni thanked the committee for its understanding over her lateness and also thanked the new board.