Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, will be expected to step back into his portfolio and act swiftly to the recent changes in leadership at the South African Airways (SAA).
As reported by the Citizen, the resignation of two senior members from the struggling airline and Eskom has increased fears of instability and another potential financial collapse for the state-owned enterprises (SOE).
Why did Vuyani Jarana resign from SAA role?
Vuyani Jarana, the outgoing chief executive officer (CEO) of the airline, announced his resignation in a scathing four-page letter.
In it, he cited bureaucratic issues and hinted at heavy political interference as his main reason for vacating his position.
He placed a lot of blame on the National Treasury, as well as Gordhan’s department, for failing to realise that the processes in place to action the turnaround strategy were not working to the advantage of SAA.
“It is impossible to succeed in a turnaround with the current level of bureaucracy we have to go through to implement the strategy.
“Currently, SAA must obtain approval of DPE [department of public enterprises] and National Treasury to implement some of the key decisions, [which] takes away the agility required for an entity in financial distress, an ICU case,” Jarana noted.
ANC calls on Pravin Gordhan to save the situation
The ANC, responding to questions about the perceived instability in the senior leadership of the national airline, stated that it has entrusted Gordhan with all the support he needs to find a balance and maintain order at SAA.
The party’s spokesperson, Pule Mabe, confirmed that the Public Enterprises Minister is “expected to pay special attention to the issues of leadership and stability in our national carrier”.
However, according to the minister’s spokesperson, Adrian Lackay, the issue of resignations of high-ranking figures like Jarana is a matter for the airline’s board to deal with.