Give it away, it won’t fly. It’s a good business but a poorly run business. Shut it down because it is a loss-making business, was what the Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said to investors in New York.
Now we know that his counterpart at Public Enterprise Pravin Gordhan has warned SAA which is facing over R14 billion in debt must be paid by March next year.
Gordhan says SAA needs to implement the turnaround strategy with a greater sense of urgency.
Speaking to Bongani Bingwa, CEO of South African Airways, Vuyani Jarana, says it has been a year since he has been in this position and they have made big decisions.
The first thing that you do is tackle the commercial side of the business and you make sure that you can trade so that you can have a greater contribution in terms of gross profit margins and we have done that.— Vuyani Jarana, CEO SAA
He adds that when he got into the business he said it will take three years to break even and that is what it will take as there are no miracles.
So the sense of urgency is correct and we are working very hard in order to transform the business.— Vuyani Jarana, CEO SAA
When asked about what his response is to his naysayers he had this to say:
Any comments or a sense of uncertainty about its future does undermine the overall business and we execute on it. So we have to be very careful about how we position ourselves.— Vuyani Jarana, CEO SAA
He says since the announcement by the minister, there has been panic in the market and they need to assure the market that SAA will continue to trade.