OUTA applauds Minister Pravin Gordhan’s decision to introduce new talent and members to the Board of the South African Airways (SAA), but believes that he need not look too far to find all the talent he needs to get the ailing airline back on track.
Over the past few years, SAA has lost a lot of fine talent with considerable airline management experience and it would be wise for Minister Gordhan to bring these very same, relatively young and energized people back to fix the mess and damage created by the current board.
Wolf Meyer (the past CFO), Nico Bezuidenhout (past acting CEO), Cynthia Stimpel (suspended Group Treasury), Dr Masimba Dahwa (dismissed Chief Procurement Officer), Thuli Mpshe (suspended GM Human Resources), Sylvain Bosc (suspended Chief Commercial Officer) are just a few names of extremely talented high ranking leaders who were purged from the airline though resignation (due to their gross discomfort with the current executive leaderships conduct), or were suspended or dismissed on for dubious reasons and / or trumped up charges against them.
The common qualities possessed by all of the above mentioned leaders, is their passion to ensure the airline is managed professionally, at low cost and without compromising the quality or integrity of the airline’s institutionalized processes. They all still have a passion and desire to see SAA succeed, but obviously will not be able to work under the current guard who have very little airline management experience, and who lack the necessary vision or ability to reduce unnecessary and wasteful expenditure at SAA.
We urge the Minister to call on each and every one of these past leaders and obtain their insights and suggestions for SAA’s success and turn-around strategy. If need be, the minister can also look to to Cheryl Carolus, a recent past Chairperson with impeccable credibility and experience, as well as Russell Loubser, another recent board member at SAA.
“Airlines require people with credible management experience from within the industry, in order to be successful and compete with other airlines. Management experience from within the industry enables efficient structure and the ability to negotiate and manage necessary route sharing partnerships, maintenance contracts and the like. These are the people who have what the minister and the nation requires, along with the energy and passion to make SAA the successful airline it has every potential to be,” – Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s Chairperson.