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SAA CEO resigned due to lack of support

South African Airways (SAA) CEO Vuyani Jarana resigned from the airline on the weekend due to the lack of support and funding for the ailing state-owned entitiyi.

Jarana might have lacked experience in the aviation industry but he had vast business experience. His success in the competitive telecommunications sector would have been ample to ensure his success with SAA.

As a senior executive at Vodacom, which is a huge business compared to SAA, it was reported to have a turnover of R74-billion from 110 million customers which gave it an operating profit of over R24-billion.

The Citizen reported that without the freedom to authorise difficult business decissions, Jarana found it increasingly difficult to turn SAA’s situation around.

In his four page resignation letter, Jarana stated that he had requested that SAA remains with National Treasury regardless of who the Ministers of public enterprises or National Treasury were, but this did not happen.

With a staff of more than 10 000 people, Jarana said that in the private sector a large percentage of staff would have been retrenched in order to cut costs and make the business more financially sustainable, but in an SOE this was an impossible task.

Since is appointment in 2017, Jarana has become very frustrated and stated that the lines of accountability had become very blurred between the board and the Public Enterprises Minister which led to confusion as to his role as the national carrier.

It is expected that Deon Fredericks, who was chief financial officer at Telkom but recently joined SAA might be the next to resign.