SAA appoints interim CEO, approaches additional lenders

SAA’s head of operations, Zukisa Ramasia, appointed as acting CEO.
SAA's newly appointed acting CEO, Zuks Ramasia. Picture: Moneyweb

South African Airways (SAA) appointed its head of operations as acting chief executive on Friday and said it needs R4 billion ($265 million) from the government to survive the current financial year and allow it to renegotiate loan terms with banks.

Zukisa Ramasia becomes interim CEO after Vuyani Jarana unexpectedly resigned on Sunday, after less than two years in the job, saying his turnaround strategy for the loss-making airline was being undermined by a lack of state funding and too much bureaucracy.

Read: Goodbye, SAA

SAA has not made a profit since 2011 and Jarana launched a five-year turnaround plan that includes slashing costs and cancelling unprofitable routes, requiring around R21.7 billion ($1.5 billion) in cash injections from the government.

“We are currently operating at a loss and that is the background to the request we’ve made for R4 billion of support for the current financial year,” board member Martin Kingston told a news briefing.

“We are in discussion with lenders about repaying the R3.5 billion (due in July) and extending the R9.2 billion (of other debt) over a protracted period of time.”

“Repaying the R3.5 billion opens the door for us to access additional liquidity for the current financial year,” said Kingston.

Jarana’s departure from SAA followed the resignation of power utility Eskom’s chief executive Phakamani Hadebe last month, who had also been trying to stabilise his highly indebted company, highlighting the mammoth task South African President Cyril Ramaphosa faces to fulfil his promise to reform state firms and wean them off government support. 

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OH SHUCKS : Now weve got ZUKS !!!!
Why would anyone lend SAA Money ??
Get it over with please .
We have no National Shipping line & we dont need a National Airline (other than for ANC Cadres to fly themselves and Families around at our expense) !!!

“Why would anyone lend SAA Money ??” well for very good interest rates, government guarantees and incompetent ANC crooks who probably won’t check what you charge and will always need more. Not as risky as lending a construction company money, say!

I wonder how many house you can build for R21.7 billion, or how many students you can put through university for R21.7 billion.

Well at R400K a pop, you could have built 52 500 houses with R21B

just think about the admin/HR cost involved just to get this person on the payroll.

here we go again…..ore is min!

Isn’t it a bit dangerous, flying an aeroplane without fuel to a destination without a runway?

SHE MUST BE A BRAVE WOMAN.

and apparently she only have to work for the state for +/- 16 months to qualify for a R 30 mil state pension??

So let me get this straight, they wanna borrow from Paul to pay Peter, so that Peter can give them access to more credit facility.

Shut the damn thing down, it will never be profitable ever again

One can either use SAA or Eskom in the heading of articles like this. They all read the same.

SAA capture part two.

This is insane which, as we all should know, is identified by doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Wise men in dear SA is in short supply.

Here’s a conundrum – if Comair was given the bailouts that SAA has and will receive – would SAA even exist?

The SAA sick SA joke shows me two things. Ramaphosa / Gordhan are making no effort to tighten up waste expenditure. Then, they have no experience, qualification, power or clue about how to run anything, let alone an airline. The looting spree continues.

Must have been a decision by the collective. You need more than 50 brain cells (as a collective) to come up with this bright plan. 2 don’t make a quorum.

End of comments.

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