14 September 2017

South Africa: Parliament - Time Squeeze for Gigaba's SAA Rescue Plan Highlights Cabinet Muddle and Political Fractures


The muddle and political fault lines in Cabinet came into sharp relief over the financially and governance-troubled SAA when the deputy finance minister and the deputy president appeared at odds in Parliament. Central to this was the extension of Dudu Myeni's term as SAA board chairperson, which the finance committee late on Wednesday resolved must be reviewed because of concerns over its legality. And with just 16 days to go before R6.8-billion falls due for repayment by the national airliner, questions also arose over government's bailout through a special appropriations Bill that requires public hearings and proper committee processes before adoption. Parliament goes into constituency recess on Friday. By MARIANNE MERTEN.

Deputy Finance Minister Sfiso Buthelezi told Parliament's finance committee that the extension of Dudu Myeni's term as SAA board chairperson was handled by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, not Cabinet.

"There definitely was no Cabinet resolution," he told MPs. Instead the minister's decision to allow Myeni - who is also the chairperson of the Jacob Zuma Foundation - to serve until the SAA annual general meeting (AGM) was based on the memorandum of incorporation (MOI) between government and the national carrier of which it is the sole shareholder.

And that's...

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