SAA employees are stealing equipment worth millions

Chairperson of public accounts (Scopa), Themba Godi, has stated that SAA Technical seems to be under siege from its employees, who are flouting policies due to a security breach in the system.

Godi said that this breach made it possible for employees to steal equipment worth millions of rands without being detected.

“SAA Technical is under siege from its own employees who are flouting policy,” he said.

“All these problems we are addressing at South African Airways as an entity, which have resulted in the entity being viewed as having no value and should therefore be privatised, stem from SAA Technical. From a strategic point of view, to get SAA right, you must get SAA Technical right.”

Scopa is currently conducting an oversight at SAA and has focused on SAA Technical as one of the areas that seem to contribute to the losses of the entity.

The committee visited supply chain management, finance, human resources, stores, hangers and engine rooms that carry spares earlier this week and spoke to the employees that work in those areas to ascertain the challenges facing those specific areas.

It noted that while security seems to be very tight, the entity loses millions every year due to theft of aircraft parts.

“We underwent very strenuous and stringent security checks yesterday, which gives the impression that security is very tight at SAA Technical, yet parts go missing all the time,” said Scopa member, Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

The Chairperson of the SAA Technical Board, Ahmed Bassa, explained this by explaining that security at SAA Technical is outsourced and that might be the reason why it may be poor.

“SAA Technical is not in control of its own security. If something as big as an ECG that weighs 3 tons and costs R15 million can go out undetected – and when you want to check CCTV cameras you are told that the cameras are not working – this tells you that theft is institutionalised in this place,” he said.

Scopa was told that the company is busy with disciplinary actions against people who have been implicated and the audit committee is looking at the recommendations of a report that was commissioned on the matter. The charges of the people who are on suspension have been updated to include criminal charges.

Read: SAA is paying millions for ‘consultant’ executives to do 6 months work

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SAA employees are stealing equipment worth millions