Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) - The embattled Chief Executive Officer of South African Airways (SAA) Monday announced she was resigning, just days after government confirmed that government had granted the national carrier a US$568 million bail-out.
The bail-out is conditional on SAA presenting a turnaround strategy to Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.
In a statement to SAA staff, Siza Mzimela said she had given the decision careful thought “and feel that now is the best time to relinquish my position as your CEO and allow somebody else to pilot the company into the future”.
SAA has made headlines in recent weeks following the resignation of eight board members including the chairperson, Cheryl Carolus.
The entire board has since been replaced.
The airline made a loss of US$142 million in the 2012 financial year despite the fact that it recorded successive years of growth in 2010 and 2011.
Last week, the official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) said it would be requesting a meeting with Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba to discuss the devastating impact of continued SAA bailouts on private airlines.
It notes that the US$568 million guarantee is US$568 million more than any private airline is getting.
“SAA are still endowed with the now expected leeway to operate with relative impunity. It is still not fair. We cannot simply continue to throw good money after bad,” said DA Minister Natasha Michael
-0- PANA CU/SEG 8Oct2012