By Andile Mngxitama
Today the Chairperson of the Board of the South African Airways (SAA) is expected to be insulted by the DA and EFF coalition partners when she presents the airline’s financial report to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance.
The SAA is a highly contested lucrative State Owned Entity (SOE) which has been allowed to be looted at will by white males. The cardinal sin of Dudu Myeni has been to demand transformation. This stance has made her very unpopular with the white owned media and pro white opposition parties outside the ANC. But also, inside the ruling party she is targeted by the neo-liberal wing led by Pravin Gordhan and Trevor Manuel. The two want nothing more than privatization of the SAA so that it is completely surrendered to white capital.
Insults will fly today and the white owned media, dominated in particular by Johann Rupert, will relish the often misogynistic assaults on Dudu Myeni. Members of Parliament shall not ask the questions that could help society understand why Myeni is under attack.
Here are some of the questions which won’t be asked of Dudu Myeni:
1. Is it true that Coleman Andrews sold all the SAA aircraft to foreign companies and then leased them back to SAA through foreign owned businsses? Is this why you have been called corrupt when you called for the establishment of a South African leasing company?
2. It is true that the same Coleman Andrews was given a R200 million handshake?
3. SAA has never been profitable since after the tenure of Coleman Andrews, explain why is this the case? Is it true that the impact of his tenure continue to haunt the SAA?
4. Is it true that the SAA submitted the annual financial statement (AFS) to Treasury last September? To this end is it also true that it is Treasury which has delayed providing the guarantees and thereby delayed the issuance of the AFS? Why are you and not the Treasury being persecuted for the late issuance of the AFS?
5. Are the guarantees given to the SAA a financial donation or a mere piece of paper to go and seek credit from lenders? Why is the SAA not given cash guarantees like some State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) are?
6. What have you done to break the debt circle of the SAA? Why has Treasury rejected the debt consolidation proposal you presented which would have ended the financial woes of the SAA?
7. Are media reports true that you discovered, amongst other things, that R100 million was being stolen from SAA monthly? What have you done about this?
9. Why is 98% of the SAA annual procurement budget of R24 billion given to white companies? This means that twenty-two years after democracy SAA gives black businesses only 2% of its procurement budget – why is this the case?
10. Is it true that at least three new board members are linked to companies in which Pravin Gordhan has shares? Is this not a clear case of conflict of interests?
11. Is it true that the “ever green agreement” with white pilots is a scheme to systematically loot the SAA? Explain the list of perks given under the said agreement and compare these with other airlines. Who signed the deal (“ever green agreement”) and who is stopping the Board from ending this unethical agreement?
12. What is blocking the training and emergence of Black pilots? Why are pilot cadets controlled by white pilots in private companies?
13. Why doesn’t the SAA have a CEO? Has the previous Board not already completed the process of hiring one, so why the delay?
Andile Mngxitama is the National Convener of Black First Land First