SA Express interim CEO Siza Mzimela resigns after 17 months on the job

The struggling state-owned company faces liquidation as it says goodbye to CEO Siza Mzimela.

SA Express has announced the resignation of interim CEO Siza Mzimela, who will be leaving the airline “to pursue other opportunities”. Siza will be replaced by Thuli Mpse, who has been appointed as acting CEO with effect from 1 April. 

Siza joined SA Express as interim CEO following her role as a member of the intervention team that was responsible for resuscitating the airline after it had been grounded.

According to a statement, despite her stated intention of a limited tenure at the airline, “her commitment and passion for the company has been resolute, opting to remain with the team through highly challenging times”. 

The distressed state-owned company has also announced that it will be approaching the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) for assistance in paying 691 employees’ outstanding March salaries after being placed under involuntary business rescue by the High Court in Johannesburg on 6 February.

A disaster benefit called the Temporary Employee Relief Scheme has been put in place by the government to assist financially distressed companies to deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent 21-day lockdown. 

SA Express’s financial situation has deteriorated since having to suspend flight operations due to the lockdown and the company is faced with liquidation.