SAA, Post Office turnaround plans working


28 May 2015

Efforts to turn around the performance of the national carrier, South African Airways (SAA), have begun to bear fruit, according to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“The going concern status of the airline has been restored, costs have been reduced and operational efficiency is improving,” the deputy president said yesterday.

“We have confidence that the newly developed long-term turnaround strategy will ensure that SAA continues to play a crucial role in facilitating commerce and tourism within our country and abroad.”

He was speaking during the Presidency Budget Vote in Parliament.

In December, President Jacob Zuma assigned Ramaphosa to oversee the turnaround of SAA, the South African Post Office and Eskom, three critical state-owned companies that are drivers of the economy.

SAA was also transferred from the Department of Public Enterprises to National Treasury.

“We are also encouraged by progress at the South African Post Office, where the strategic turnaround plan has been finalised for submission to [the] Cabinet,” Ramaphosa said.

The administrator appointed by Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele in 2014 had undertaken a thorough diagnostic review of the challenges at the post office, and a business model that was better suited to the changing postal services environment had been developed.

With regards to Eskom, progress had been made in the implementation of the government’s plan to stabilise the utility. Ramaphosa said Eskom would regain its strength in the country’s economy.

“As the supplier of around 95% of the country’s electricity, Eskom is critical to our economic growth and sustainability. As we are all acutely aware, the company has been experiencing severe generation constraints, exacerbated by significant operational and financial challenges.”

The Presidency welcomed the appointment of Eskom acting chief executive Brian Molefe.