/ 1 October 2009

Carolus to head SAA board

Cheryl Carolus has been appointed chairperson of the board of South African Airways (SAA) from September 28, Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan said on Thursday.

This followed the expiry of the term of office of the current board.

”Carolus will head up a highly skilled board, with experience in areas such as tourism, business and finance, law and procurement,” Hogan said in a statement.

”Other key skills include experience in human resources, as well as the airline and hospitality industries.”

The minister said non-executive directors appointed included Cyril Jantjies — HR professional, Russell Loubser — CEO, JSE, Duduzile Miyeni — CEO, Skills Dynamics, Bonang Mohale — country chairperson and vice-president, Shell SA, Lindi Nkosi-Thomas — advocate of the High Court and Margie Whitehouse, a marketing professional.

Hogan thanked former chairperson Jakes Gerwel and the outgoing board at SAA for a good set of results in the 2009/10 year, ”and for their commitment in ensuring that the airline is turned around to become a profitable enterprise”.

Hogan said Gerwel had committed to ensuring a full handover of all current issues, including the finalisation of the KPMG investigation and the appointment of a new CEO.

In a separate statement, the outgoing SAA board said the past five years had posed many challenges for the airline industry, SAA and the board.

”In spite of this there have been significant achievements and a steady repositioning of the airline, culminating in the solid financial performance we could report this year,” the board said.

”Notable among these achievements was the decision to focus on growing SAA into Africa.”

The outgoing board said SAA’s current vision of being an African airline with global reach was defined during its period of service and the that SAA’s operational and customer service initiatives had backed up this vision.

”SAA’s restructuring programme has also been a notable achievement.

”The programme, which we embarked upon in March 2007, was concluded this year with tangible results such as cost reduction, revenue growth and efficiency gains.”

The outgoing board said SAA was today operationally profitable due to the achievements forged under the restructuring programme, and a solid platform had been created on which to build in the future.

Gerwel said the board was proud of its achievements over the past five years, particularly the decision to focus on Africa, and the completion of the restructuring programme.

”In the past year, the outgoing board was confronted with several public controversies which we have worked hard to deal with.”

Gerwel confirmed there would be a full handover of all current issues to the incoming board, including the finalisation of the KPMG investigation and the appointment of a new CEO. – Sapa