New information provided to the Standing Committee on Finance (SCOF) by the South African Airways (SAA) board reveals that the airlines losses are even worse than previously reported – now at R4.5 billion for 2016/17.
“This new figure of R4.5 billion is significantly higher than the R3.5 billion revealed ten days ago and the R1.7 billion estimated in September 2016,” said DA shadow deputy minister of finance, Alf Lees.
“This is an increase of R1 billion in the space of ten days and an increase of R2.8 billion in the space of six months.”
Lees warned that with a full month of figures left to be reported on, this figure of R4.5 billion could experience yet another significant increase.
“The DA will interrogate these volatile numbers fully when SAA appears before the SCOF on Wednesday, 29 March 2017, as it is simply inconceivable that SAA losses have increased by a staggering R1 billion in a matter of weeks,” the shadow minister said.
The SA Pilots Association and Outa announced earlier this month that they were taking legal action against SAA chair, Dudu Myeni, for her role in the airline’s financial state.
The two parties want the courts to declare her a ‘delinquent director’. SAA Pilots’ Association chair, Jimmy Conroy, said that the crisis at SAA has reached a “tipping point”.
Global ratings firm S&P Global also warned earlier this month that South African SOEs like SAA were putting massive strain on the economy, and continued bailouts will ultimately push the country’s sovereign debt below investment grade.