by (ANA) African News Agency

South Africa’s cash-strapped state-owned airlines, South African Airways (SAA) and South African Express (SAX) have failed to submit audited annual reports to Parliament by the September 30 deadline.

In a letter published in the announcements, tablings and committee reports (ATC) on Wednesday, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan informed the legislature that both South African Airlines (SAA) and South African Express (SAX) were unable to meet their going concern status.

“The Boards of South African Airways SOC Limited (SAA) and South African Express Airways SOC Limited (SA Express) have not been able to finalise and submit the annual reports to me within the PFMA prescribed timelines,” Gordhan said in the letter, dated September 27.

“Both airlines are experiencing serious financial challenges and are unable to meet going concerns”

Why SAA, SA Express failed to meet Parliament deadline

Gordhan said the SAA board had informed him that the newly appointed interim chief executive and chief financial officers have requested more time to submit their financials to the Auditor-General of SA’s office.

“SAA board has informed me that the newly appointed interim CEO and the interim CFO need more time to submit the required information for audit to the auditor-general for the 2018/2019 financial year,” Gordhan explained.

The minister said SAA had submitted a request for an extension to hold its annual general meeting to the Companies Tribunal, which had been granted.

“The Companies Tribunal has granted SAA an extension to hold its AGM by no later than the end of March 2020.”

Gordhan said the financials statements and audit reports of both airlines will be submitted once the going concern status of both airlines is resolved.

Other SOEs that failed to submit audited annual reports

Other SOEs, including NSFAS also failed to submit their audited annual reports to Parliament. Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, explained that there were a few things that had to be ironed out before NSFAS could file their books for review.

“The auditor-general has informed the NSFAS of a material issue which requires further analysis and evaluation. This has an impact on the valuation of the NSFAS student loan book since 2014,” says Nzimande is his letter to parliament.

“The auditor-general has advised that it will inform NSFAS on October 4 2019 as to what the remaining timelines will be for the completion of the audit, which is a prerequisite for the completion of the annual report for 2018/2019,” Nzimande revealed.