South Africa: Department of Public Enterprises Minister, Malusi Gigaba Appoints New Acting Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of South African Airways

press release

At a recent South African Airways (SAA) Board meeting held on 7 December 2012, the Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Malusi Gigaba reviewed the status of the current Executive Chairperson.

Minister Gigaba thereby announces that Mr Vuyisile Kona, will assume the position of Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), as opposed to the previous position of Executive Chairperson, owing to adherence to the principles of good corporate governance.

The current SAA Chairperson will assume the position of the Acting CEO, pending the permanent appointment of the new CEO.

As such, the Minister has decided to appoint Ms Duduzile Myeni as the Acting Chairperson of the Board with immediate effect.

One of the critical responsibility that the Acting Chairperson will be expected to embark upon is to reinforce leadership stability at SAA and initiate a robust recruitment process for the appointment of the new CEO to ensure continuity in the airlines business operations.

In addition, the Acting Chairperson will be required to lead the process for the development of the long term strategy currently being initiated by the company.

The Minister would also like to clarify the Terms of Reference of the Task Team appointed in October. The Task Team has the mandate:

To advise and lead the engagements with key Government Departments and ensure alignment between the SAA Board, other State aviation assets, and key Government departments;

To monitor the work-plan and advise on the achievements of key deliverables as agreed upon by the SAA Board and the Consultants; and

To ensure alignment between the long term strategy and the wider Government objectives.

Notwithstanding, it is important to note that the establishment of the Task Team does not replace the Board's decision making process nor does it absolve the Board of its fiduciary role and responsibility. The Board is still expected to be the custodian of the long term strategy, with the shareholder being advised and apprised at all stages of the process.

The Board is also expected to finalise the recruitment process of the appointment of the permanent CEO as a matter of urgency. The department will continue to exercise its shareholder oversight and ask the difficult questions to ensure SAA is sustainable and commercially viable.

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