Former Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) chief executive Geoffrey Qhena has been appointed as the chairperson of the South African Airways (SAA) interim board, the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) announced on Wednesday.
The appointment of the directors comes after Deputy President David Mabuza revealed that a new SAA board would be appointed in a “few weeks” in late November.
Qhena is among six non-executive directors of the SAA board amid government’s plans to restructure the airline. The other directors include Peter Tshisevhe, June Crawford, Bembe Zwane, Professor Edna van Harte and Nick Fadugba.
In a statement, the department said it believed that the interim board would restore proper governance and oversight of SAA during the implementation of a business rescue plan.
“As a shareholder on behalf of government, the DPE is delighted that these experienced professionals have agreed to join the board of SAA.
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“Their combination of academic, financial, legal and aviation experience, with a deep knowledge of global aviation and transport trends, will bring a new perspective as the national carrier prepares to relaunch next year.
“Their appointment also enhances the independence and balance of the board, while continuing the process of transformation and renewal,” the department said.
DPE ANNOUNCES THE APPOINTMENT OF SIX NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS
FOR SAA INTERIM BOARD pic.twitter.com/RIX5crEqii
— DPE_ZA (@DPE_ZA) December 9, 2020
In October, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni had announced a R10.5 billion bailout for SAA, which had been in business rescue since December 2019, while Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan emphasised that the airline was too important to be allowed to fail.