16 May 2018

South Africa: Parliament Postpones Meeting to Review SAA's Fourth Quarter Results

press release

Postponement of the fourth quarter presentation to the Standing Committee on Finance (SCOF)

Today the Standing Committee on Finance (SCOF) postponed its meeting to review SAA's Fourth Quarter results due to lack of agreement on whether the session should be held in committee or in public. This emanates from the application made by the chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance to have some of the presentations by SAA held in private in order to protect the confidentiality of some of SAA's strategies.

Unlike many State Owned Enterprises which operate as sole providers of services, SAA is a commercial enterprise which operates in a highly competitive environment. The duty to account to parliamentary committee must be balanced with the degree of protection of the confidentiality of SAA's commercial strategies.

In February 2018, SAA had presented its turnaround strategy to SCOF and was accepted and supported. The same strategy was presented to the Standing Committee on Appropriations (SCOA) in March 2018. Today SAA was due to present its fourth quarter report as part of the normal parliamentary report cycle.

It would appear that there was a disagreement amongst committee members as to whether there was a committee resolution to have some of SAA's meetings held in committee only. The committee then postponed the presentation by SAA in order to consult its own records regarding the decision.

After a comprehensive review of this issue, and having taken into account the need to protect SAA's commercially sensitive strategies whilst staying within the governance prescripts, we have decided to make SAA's fourth quarter presentation available to the public.

The need to protect SAA's commercial strategies cannot be overemphasised. We are encouraged by the committee's intention to conduct some of the reviews of SAA reports in private. Holding some of the reviews in committee will allow members of parliament to have an in-depth engagement with SAA's leadership whilst protecting SAA's commercial strategies.

Issued by: Parliament of South Africa

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