Gordhan will take the reins at SAA as the ailing airline is moved to the public enterprises ministry

Pravin Gordhan is to captain South African Airways (SAA) as the airliner is transferred to public enterprises.
Pravin Gordhan is to captain South African Airways (SAA) as the airliner is transferred to public enterprises.

Pravin Gordhan’s public enterprises ministry will now control the ailing South African Airlways (SAA)‚ after President Cyril Ramamphosa transferred its control‚ effective on Wednesday.

Ramaphosa transferred SAA from the ministry of finance to the ministry of public enterprises‚ Gordhan’s ministry confirmed in a statement‚ after it was initially revealed in a presidential proclamation gazetted on Wednesday.

"In terms of Section 97 of the Constitution… I hereby transfer the administration‚ powers and functions in trusted by the South African Airways Act‚ 2007 and all amendments thereto‚ from the minister of finance to the minister of public enterprises‚ with effect from August 1 2018‚" the proclamation read.

It was signed on July 25.

This means the clean up at SAA is now in Gordhan’s hands. Gordhan has already been cleaning up the boards and state-owned entities that were seen to be part of the state-capture debacle. In 2014‚ when Nhlanhla Nene was finance minister‚ SAA was moved away from the control of then public enterprises minister Lynne Brown to the finance ministry.

In a statement‚ public enterprises said that the transfer of the airline back under its control came after a study commissioned by National Treasury and public enterprises “to develop the optimal group structure for the state-owned aviation assets”.

“The recommendations from this study‚ if considered appropriate‚ may require implementing changes to the group structure of SAA. As the executive authority for other major state owned companies‚ including SA Express‚ [Gordhan] is best placed to be the custodian of all of the state’s aviation assets. These assets are South African Airways (SAA) and its subsidiary‚ Mango‚ and SA Express‚” the statement read.

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