More than R1.8bn lost in tender irregularities at SAA: SA Cabin Crew Association

27 June 2017 - 18:10 By Sipho Mabena
South African Airways plane. File Photo
South African Airways plane. File Photo
Image: Business Day

The South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA)‚ which represents 1‚300 South African Airways (SAA) cabin crew members‚ has slammed government for failing to act on reports revealing more than R1.8-billion in tender irregularities at SAA.

Speaking to journalists in Pretoria on Tuesday‚ the union's treasurer‚ Gift Bilankulu‚ said this was despite the matter being brought to the attention of former finance minister Pravin Gordhan as well as his successor‚ incumbent Malusi Gigaba.

“This was brought to the attention of the SAA management‚ the Board‚ former finance minister (Gordhan) and current minister (Gigaba). We received no response‚ hence we are giving this information to the media. We have no other choice‚” she said.

Bilankulu said the information was based on several investigative reports‚ including from Ernst Young‚ that had been commissioned by the national airliner‚ which she said had failed to act on issues related to payments to companies without valid contracts and without supply chain management prescripts being followed.

“The Board of SAA in its entirety has failed to execute their responsibilities in line with Section 51 of the (Public Finance Management Act) in that they failed to hold the executive accountable for contravening SAA Supply Chain Management Policies‚” she said.

The union listed at least 34 contracts that it said were red-flagged by the investigation reports.

Bilankulu said they have been told the national carrier had no money to meet their demand for a R2‚200 meal allowance for international flights‚ which led to the union embarking on a strike in April‚ while money was being milked from SAA through irregular spending.

Zazi Nsibanyoni-Mugambi‚ SACCA president‚ said the national carrier was making money and flights were always fully booked but money was lost “through looting and corruption”.

She said they intend laying corruption charges with the police against SAA's top executives‚ including acting boss Musa Zwane and chief financial officer Phumeza Nhantsi‚ in connection with the irregularities.

SAA spokesperson‚ Tlali Tlali‚ was not immediately available to comment.