SAA CEO Vuyani Jarana resigns

 ·2 Jun 2019

South African Airways (SAA) CEO Vuyani Jarana has tendered his resignation.

Fin24 reports that Jarana will leave the airline on 31 August 2019 – having served just over two years in the head role at the struggling airline.

According to his resignation letter to SAA board chairperson JB Magwaza, the CEO unpacked how uncertainty about funding and slow decision-making processes were delaying the airline’s turnaround strategy.

“The strategy is being systemically undermined, and as the group chief executive officer, I can no longer be able to assure the board and the public that the LTTS is achievable,” he said.

“Whereas government injected R5 billion of funding in the 2018/2019 financial year, a big chunk of that was used to fund creditors up to the end of March 2018.

“We have not been able to obtain any further commitment from government making it very difficult to focus on the execution of the strategy,” Jarana said.

State-owned enterprises

Jarana was previously chief operating officer at Vodacom before heading up its enterprise division.

His resignation follows hot on the heels on the announcement that Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe would also be stepping down.

This may put minister of public enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, in a tough position as he battles to balance the books at the struggling state-owned enterprises while continuing to clear out corruption.

Eskom’s s debt is approaching R500 billion ($35 billion), according to data compiled by Bloomberg from public records, including bonds and issued loans, up from about R370 billion a year ago and is compounding the difficulty the government faces in formulating a turnaround plan for the troubled utility.

In April, SAA said it was moving closer to an agreement with lenders to extend R9.2 billion rand ($642 million) of debt – a deal that would buy the unprofitable state airline more time to restore its battered finances.

Read: Eskom CEO announces resignation

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