Les Matuson appointed SAA Business Rescue Practitioner

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Les Matuson has been appointed as a Business Rescue Practitioner in South African Airways (SAA) voluntary business rescue process.

National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is claiming victory in the wake of SAA filing for urgent voluntary business rescue.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has confirmed that the struggling national carrier will get a R2 billion lifeline.

Government will now meet the Business Rescue Practitioner and stakeholders, including unions.

Numsa’s Phakamile Hlubi-Majola says they are still concerned about government’s involvement.

Watch the video below for more on the story:

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) says placing the financially struggling SAA under business rescue is a responsible course of action.

The committee has postponed its visit to SAA, after it failed to appear before the committee last week and to answer for failing to submit its financial report for two years.

In a report that has been given to Scopa, SAA has shown that it suffered a loss of R5.4 billion in 2018 and another loss of R5 billion in 2019, further deepening its financial crisis.

The government recently gave it R5.5 billion and will pay off R9.2 billion to settle its debts.

Scopa Chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa Hlengwa says the decision to place SAA in business rescue is long overdue.

“We were supposed to have gone to SAA today (Thursday) because we have not received financials from SAA for two years, but that business rescue was triggered and so under the circumstances, the committee felt prudent to postpone its interaction with SAA. Amongst other things, we need clarity in terms of who the Account Practitioner is because the board becomes redundant under business rescue. We need to fully understand who the Account Authority is. So, we will be engaging with Parliamentary Legal to give us the necessary advice in terms of how we approach this matter.”

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it is unfortunate that the scheduled meeting could not take place.

“We understand the reasons for postponing the meeting. It hasn’t been cancelled. We are still going to go at some stage. But what it does do is that it means Parliament, through Scopa, has not been able to interrogate the annual financial statements for SAA. We can still speak about it, but the question is who do you speak to, because the Board of Directors – once business rescue is put in place – the Board of Directors have no more control or management of the company being SAA. They are no longer the people responsible,” says DA Member of Parliament and member of Scopa, Alf Lees.