South African Airways – which has received R20 billion in government bailouts in the last 12 months and needs R20 billion more just to keep operating – is reportedly paying its interim chief financial officer (CFO), Robert Head, a package of R5.5 million for six months of 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.
SAA CEO, Vuyani Jarana, is set to earn R6.7 million for a full years’ work.
Head’s package is even higher than the annualised earnings of former Eskom chief, Brian Molefe, who received a hefty R9.5 million for the 2016 financial year – although the controversial Eskom head was paid a golden handshake of R8.9 million for 8 months of work before his highly publicised exit.
In a letter addressed to SAA’s board, finance minister Nhlanhla Nene has demanded justification for Head’s remuneration package, and also questioned why he was not informed of his predecessor’s resignation, and Head’s appointment, the Mail & Guardian reported.
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.
Jarana has justified the spending in past, saying that it is necessary to address a severe skills shortage at the airline.
Nene is reportedly demanding evidence that the right processes were followed, and that the necessary skills could not be found locally.