SAA deal confirms Myeni must go - DA


The Democratic Alliance (DA) has welcomed National Treasury’s announcement that the existing lease agreement between embattled national carrier South African Airways (SAA), and French plane maker Airbus, would be completed.

In a statement on Monday evening, the airline confirmed it would continue with the current contract to lease five Airbus A330-300 instead of the previous purchasing of ten smaller A320’s. It will also mean that the carrier won’t have to pay the additional pre-delivery fee of R603-million for changing the contract.

Reacting to the decision, DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises Natasha Mazzone said the approval of the deal, originally drawn by former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, has sent controversial SAA Chairperson Dudu Myneni “crash landing to the hard ground of reality”.

“There can surely no longer be any element of doubt that under the leadership of Dudu Myeni, the national carrier will not succeed in turning itself into a successful entity,” Mazzone said.

“Her close ties to President Zuma, and her political manoeuvring, and her design of fronting local companies for aircraft purchase agreements disqualify her from overseeing our national flag-carrier”.

Mazzone added that a full-scale investigation into the escalating financial crisis must be conducted, and that individuals aligned with Myeni have to be shown the door.

“An expert in the aviation industry, not a political crony, must be employed as a matter of urgency to oversee the turnaround of the airline,” she said.

“Today [Finance Minister Pravin] Gordhan has made a welcome decision, which shows that Dudu Myeni must go”.