DA wants finance committee to convene early to put SAA under business rescue
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for the next meeting of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance with South African Airways (SAA) to be brought forward in an effort to stave off the “increasingly certain” liquidation of the embattled airline. This‚ the party’s Alf Lees said on Friday‚ “is vital in order to ensure that SAA is placed under business rescue before it collapses”. The meeting is scheduled for September 20‚ but should be set for August 31‚ the DA has requested.Lees said SAA’s “liquidation is increasingly become a certainty” following reports of “this week’s shock resignation of Yakhe Kwinana‚ the head of the audit and risk committee”. BDlive reported on Friday that Kwinana said she feared the damage to her reputation‚ as the possibility of the liquidation or business rescue of SAA came into sharp focus at the end of July.SAA in liquidation danger, says directorLess also described as “astounding” media reports that “SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni is not able to communicate with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Standard Bank requiring repayment of a R250-million”.SAA also faces a September 6 deadline from the Hong Kong registrar of companies‚ which threatened to terminate routes to the city due to concerns about the airline’s financial sustainability. The registrar wants SAA to submit its financial statements.SAA urgently requires a R5-billion loan guarantee from the Treasury in order to be considered a going concern and to assure lenders of its sustainability. But “even worse is that SAA’s R14.4-billion in government guarantees has been completely depleted leaving it without any options”‚ said Lees.“If a further bailout from government is to be avoided SAA must immediately be placed under business rescue.” He said the “the first step in the business rescue process (is) the reshuffling of the SAA board and removing…Myeni”. “History has proven that no strident actions can occur at SAA with Myeni at the helm‚” Lees added.