Gateway Airport faces threat of having its license revoked

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The Standing Committee on Public Accounts in Limpopo has heard that government-owned entity Gateway Airport Authority Limited (GAAL) was facing a threat of having its license taken away due to financial mismanagement and noncompliance.

Officials from the entity as well as Transport MEC Dickson Masemola are appearing before Scopa on the audit outcomes from 2017 to 2019.

About R14 million is unaccounted for.

Some senior officials were suspended and an interim board appointed.

Masemola says they met with the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) and an agreement was reached to keep GAAL in operation.

“I did also indicate the meetings that were pending between us and the South African Civil Aviation Authority because there were threats there that the license might be withdrawn because of compliance matters, which some of them came to the surface when we are hosting that international show of what is called ICAD. Matters were attended to. I think, at this point in time, it will be appropriate to assure the people of Limpopo and this committee in particular that the entity is still going to live.”

It has also emerged that GAAL was failing to deal with litigations against it because the entity has never had a legal department.

Interim Board Chairperson, Naphtali Molope says they are planning to establish the legal unit instead of outsourcing.

“The root cause pertaining to the uncertainties, which are mainly litigations is the fact that the entity has never had a legal department since its inception. As a result of this anomaly, every legal matter, even those that could be resolved internally were outsourced to attorneys, which then led to the process becoming slow and costly. Currently, the entity still does not have a legal department. However, the company secretary, who has the legal qualifications and experience, is temporarily assisting the company with legal matters. There is improvement.”