After SAA missed the mandatory September 30 deadline for submission of annual reports to parliament, it has now emerged that Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has written to speaker of parliament Baleka Mbete asking for an extension.
The Independent Media quoted a letter Gigaba reportedly sent, in which he mentions the extension for the submission of audited annual financial statements because of financial troubles at the national carrier.
The letter allegedly further states that the airline has serious challenges that need to be addressed before tabling the report.
“Due to financial challenges faced by SAA and the fact that SAA’s external auditors have raised concerns regarding the airline’s [viability], SAA has missed the deadline for submitting audited financial statements on or before August 31 to shareholder as stipulated in the Public Finance Management Act.
“The delay in finalising SAA’s annual audited statements also means that as the executive authority responsible for SAA, I will not be able to table the airline’s annual report and audited report on or before the stipulated date [30 September]. Therefore, I humbly request an extension of the deadline for tabling SAA’s annual report to November 30,” Gigaba is reported as having written.
It will be the third time that SAA has, according to The Business Report, missed a deadline in the past three years.
The request follows parliamentarians’ instruction to the legislature’s legal department to check if Gigaba’s R3-billion bailout of SAA in respect of Citibank and R2.2 billion to Standard Chartered Bank.
Lawmakers argued this week that an appropriation bill should have been introduced in parliament prior to the bailout being paid out.
Instead, Gigaba dipped directly into the National Revenue Fund to access the R30 billion to Citibank. He has previously told MPs that failure to give SAA cash injection could result in a total collapse. The airline indicated there were nine other lenders willing to extend terms of loans, but on condition that certain conditions first be met.