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South Africa Expess to fly again soon

South Africa has announced that South African Express will resume flights as soon as next week

Lungi Mnganga-Gcabashe, chairperson of Parliament's Portfolio Committee, said this undertaking was given today by Minister Pravin Gordhan during a briefing to update the committee on addressing governance challenges at state-owned companies (SOCs).

The committee said those individuals involved in irregular contracts or underhand dealings at the airline, should not escape investigation.

The committee also heard that the benefits that executives are entitled to at the institutions are being assessed, as that they must be done in a transparent manner. Minister Gordhan said the benefits being given, short- and long-term – are concerning whilst the ordinary workers suffer.

The committee heard that the overall picture at SOCs is that they have a revenue of US$19.35bn, assets of US$75bn and are at a profit/loss of US$110mn. The committee was informed that at Eskom, 10 senior executives who were implicated in wrongdoings have exited the entity before disciplinary hearings could be finalised. A total of 11 criminal cases were opened, of which nine involved senior managers. A total of 1,049 outstanding disciplinary cases have been instituted since April 2018, of which 628 have been finalised, resulting in 75 employees exiting.

The economic and developmental role of SOCs also came under the spotlight. The committee was made aware that localisation was set aside and things were imported. The committee heard that manufacturing and localisation must be promoted.

The committee was given assurances as most boards are new, having been appointed this year, it is tasked with looking at the huge remuneration costs. Guidelines to this effect exist but are not being implemented and bonuses are demanded at times when it is not warranted to give out bonuses.

Mnganga-Gcabashe noted, “The achievements at all entities thus far give us hope for the future. It gives us the assurance that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We will certainly monitor the progress of SOCs to ensure that we remain on track.”