Now that the business rescue process for South African Airways (SAA) is underway and Les Matuson, the SAA Business Rescue Practitioner, has been appointed and is reported to be intending to meet with all stakeholders within the next 10 days – it is essential that Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) be part of the proposed meeting with stakeholders.
As such, the DA has written to Mkhuleko Hlengwa, the SCOPA Chairperson, to request that he immediately write to Les Matuson to insist that SCOPA be included in the proposed meeting with SAA stakeholders.
This consultation process with all SAA stakeholders is clearly vital if Matuson is going to stand any chance of succeeding in the rescue of the bankrupt SAA.
Not only is SAA the property of all South Africans but on top of this over the past 25 years the South African taxpayer has been extorted by successive ANC governments to bailout SAA to the tune of R57 billion.
The SAA board of directors has refused to publish and submit to Parliament the Annual Financial Statements for SAA, as required by law, for the past two financial years and this has made it impossible for Parliament to perform its constitutional duty of oversight over SAA which is insolvent and a massive financial drain on the South African taxpayer.
In a display of the disdain in which the SAA board appears to hold Parliament, the SAA board declined to attend a SCOPA meeting on 27 November 2019. In a last ditch attempt to ensure that SAA account to Parliament and immediately submit its annual financial statements as required by the Public Finance Management Act, SCOPA had determined that on 5 December 2019 the committee would travel to the SAA Head Office in its massive luxury premises at Jet Park to meet the SAA board. This meeting was postponed when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that airline would be put into voluntary business rescue.