South African Airways, which has received over R15 billion in government bailouts over the past year, is spending over R16 million on the salaries of new executive hires – including R10 million for three who are only doing six months work.
The numbers were revealed in a response by the airline to a request by finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, who wanted to know the details of these contracts.
It also follows reports showing that SAA’s interim chief financial officer (CFO), Robert Head, would receive a package of R5.5 million for six months work.
According to the Mail & Guardian, citing sources within SAA, Head’s package includes a R1.9 million retainer, a R3.2 million salary, and a R342,000 car allowance – and when annualised, makes him better paid than any chief executive or finance head at other state companies.
This has now been confirmed by SAA.
In a letter to the minister, SAA reported Head’s salary would be R5.511 million for the six month contract which started on 1 April 2018. However he was only one of four executives who were hired by the group as ‘fixed-term contractors’.
The others include Thabang Motsohi and Mpati Qofa, who will be paid R2.088 million each for six months work, and Robert Newsome, who will be paid R2.5 million for a 12 month contract.
The airline also revealed the permanent appointment of Hendus Venter would draw a R4.174 million salary.
It was previously reported that SAA was forking out millions of rands for executives and consultants – including a R25 million deal with Deutsche Bank to analyse its finances and restructure the airline’s debt.
SAA CEO, Vuyani Jarana has justified the spending in past, saying that it is necessary to address a severe skills shortage at the airline.
Jarana, is set to earn R6.7 million for a full years’ work.