SAA CEO Vuyani Jarana resigned last week Thursday

The CEO's letter of resignation cites concerns around funding and slow decision-making processes.

SAA CEO Vuyani Jarana resigned on Thursday, and will be working out a three-month notice period until end-August.

In Jarana's resignation letter to the board, he states:

“The strategy is being systematically undermined, and as group chief executive officer, I can no longer be able to assure the board and the public that the LTTS (long-term turnaround strategy), is achievable.”

Jarana was appointed to the role in November 2017, tasked with turning around the embattled airline’s fortunes. However, Jarana stated in his resignation letter that his turnaround plan has not been implemented because of bureaucratic decision-making structures.

Jarana is the second SOE CEO to resign in the space of a week, with Eskom's Phakamani Hadebe, having tendered his resignation on 24 May.

Read more: Eskom announces CEO Phakamani Hadebe has resigned for health reasons

SAA had R9.2 billion in debt that was owing in November 2017. The LTTS required funding of R21.7 billion, with a projection that 2021 would see the airline returning to profitability. However, its implementation has been hampered by a lack of commitment by government, and three instances of the airline being unable to pay salaries.

“I spend most of my time dealing with liquidity and solvency issues,” Jarana said in his letter. 

On Sunday, SAA responded with a statement from Magwaza:

“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Mr Jarana for his service and commitment to the airline. He contributed to returning confidence and credibility to the airline. We wish him well in his future endeavours."

He further stated that the board of SAA will immediately commence the process of searching for a new Group CEO to take the strategy forward.