SAA director Kingston quits amid cash crunch

Says he will continue to offer input ‘to the extent required.’
Martin Kingston resigns as a director of South African Airways. Image: Moneyweb

Martin Kingston resigned as a director of South African Airways on Friday as the state-owned airline’s administrator scrambles for cash to keep it going.

“There is no need for me to be on the board given the appointment of the Business Rescue Practioners,” Kingston, the executive chairman of Rothschild & Co.’s South African unit, said in a text message. “I will continue to offer input to the extent required.”

Read: SAA flights at risk without R2bn from govt – union

SAA lost over R10.4bn in past 2 years – documents

The loss-making carrier has been under voluntary business rescue, a local form of bankruptcy protection, since December as the administrator tries to nurse the company back to health. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Thursday said that National Treasury and the Department of Public Enterprises are trying to find additional funding for the airline.

SAA has not received R2 billion from Treasury that is needed to keep the carrier operational, Business Day reported on Thursday, citing the airline’s administrator. It may suspend flights if it doesn’t receive the money by Sunday, the Johannesburg-based newspaper said.

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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COMMENTS   13

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Just close SAA down. South Africa does not need SAA.

Why must we have a national airline? the USA does not.

At what point will the beneficiaries of the feeding trough and the gravy train let SAA die and move onto some other source of illicit income for family, friends and cadre? Nearly 90 years of awesome service to South Africa and our brilliant rulers have destroyed one of South Africa’s finest assets in its last 15 years. Well done guys, I guess you are proud of your achievement.

Rats abandoning the Titanic !!!!

He was an ANC-connected ex Rothschild banker. Not a pilot or a stewardess or a technician or a travel specialist. The Companies Act applies with a rear view mirror that this man has considered

The thing we South Africans hate more about losing money is the ANC losing it for us. No care in the world. They talk about losing R2 billion like i talk about losing weight.

Can you imagine how many schools, homes could have been built had SAA not belonged to thieves

One wonders if Mr.Kingston was actually worth anything at SAA? He was after all the Director of a huge SAA failure. If one may refer to SAA as a failure?

Agree Chris, why bale out now? The Rescue Practitioner is not going to sit on the board and he needs all the input he can get. Does not need to start wondering where is this guy or that one, phone calls, out the country etc looking for input from him.

Believe me the moment this guy leaves he will develop amnesia.

Something not right here……..scared of being declared a delinquent director?????

Kingston is astute enough to know when to jump from a sinking ship or a falling plane.

But he is part of the reason SAA failed?

The board is to blame too.

The only ‘input’ that is needed is who to prosecute for the mess SAA is in.

I was bored so I had a look at the SAA annual report. I did not read it all, but this board signed it off.

One aspect that struck me when I compare our local 185 page annual reports to a proper company such as Apple is the difference in waffle and substance.

If you knew nothing about the company, the plain text no glossy picture tables and graphs Apple (a 25 trillion runt company) report highlights business descriptions and risks that, if you paid attention, would leave you informed as a potential investor. I scanned the SAA report and can answer questions about the proportion of male female black white colored indian disabled work force and a host of other stuff but virtually no mention of the business viability.

Do the PR companies author South African annual reports or do the directors??????

Oh for goodness sake. Kingston joined the Board in good faith basically as a “call up” from CR only about a year ago to help stabilize the company – unfortunately it was too late and the business rescue process is now in train and this supersedes the need for his direct Board activity.

End of comments.

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