Siza Mzimela appointed acting CEO of struggling SA Express

The board of state-owned SA Express has appointed Siza Mzimela, a former CEO of SAA, as the struggling airline’s new acting CEO.

All but two of the airline’s aircraft remain grounded.

Current acting SA Express CEO Matsietsi Mokholo will be taking up a new position in the Presidency. Mokholo will hand over to Mzimela over the next two weeks.

In a joint statement on Wednesday evening the Ministry of Public Enterprises and the SA Express board said Mzimela has more than 20 years of aviation experience.

READ MORE: SAA, SA Express merger ready for lift-off

“Until now she has been part of the ministerial intervention team that was appointed in May to stabilise the operations and finances of SA Express and to identify options to recapitalise the airline given its immediate short-term liquidity problems,” the statement read.

Earlier on Wednesday, the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) members at SA Express expressed their worry in a statement that that Mzimela would be appointed as acting CEO.

“Workers who have been with the company for many years remember Mzimela’s previous term as CEO. They say no reasons were given for her departure and soon after the company started experiencing financial difficulties so much so, profit share was not paid from that year onwards,” the union said in a statement.

Since the airline’s grounding, employees have been anxious about its survival and the impact on their livelihoods.

“Workers are apprehensive about the changes Mzimela would bring if she were appointed,” the union said.

Satawu intends to request a meeting with the airline at the earliest opportunity to discuss the safety of its members’ jobs.

The South African Civil Aviation Authority suspended the air operators certificates (OAC) and Certificates of Airworthiness of SA Express in May 2018, effectively grounding the airline.

The aviation authority has since reinstated SA Express’s AOC and aircraft Maintenance Organisation approval, clearing the airline for a resumption of operations.

SA Express has also managed to get certificates of airworthiness for two of its aircraft.

According to the aviation authority, it is currently permitted to operate with only these two aircraft.

In other aviation-related news, it was also announced on Wednesday evening that President Cyril Ramaphosa had transferred the administration of embattled national carrier SAA from the minister of finance to the minister of public enterprises.

This means that public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan — under whose watch the airline fell before he was axed as minister of finance during the Zuma era — will once again have oversight of the state-owned airline. — Fin24

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertisting

Border walls don’t stop viruses, but a blanket amnesty might

Why South Africa should consider amnesty for undocumented migrants in the time of the coronavirus outbreak.

Mail & Guardian needs your help

Our job is to help give you the information we all need to participate in building this country, while holding those in power to account. But now the power to help us keep doing that is in your hands

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories