The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) on Friday congratulated Vuyani Jarana on his appointment as Chief Executive Officer of South African Airways (SAA).
“SACCI welcomes Mr Jarana’s appointment, as CEO of SAA, on behalf of our business community, as he is a person with the requisite skills to stabilise and grow the public airline.
“He brings to SAA a successful and proven record in the business community – as evidenced by his leadership of one of our biggest cellular network companies in South Africa- charting a strong course for Vodacom at a time when the economy was reaching its weakest point in several years,” said SACCI Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alan Mukoki.
This as National Treasury on Thursday announced Jarana’s appointment as head of the national carrier which was moved from the portfolio of the Department of Public Enterprises to National Treasury in 2014.
SACCI said business has always argued for solid appointments at state owned companies.
“[We] welcome this appointment with the hope that the Minister [of Finance] and Board will exercise the highest levels of corporate governance and allow the new CEO and his executive team the necessary support to turn around the operational performance of South African Airways,” said Mukoki.
Jarana’s appointment is seen as a confidence builder in the national carrier and the implied stability that his leadership will bring into the airline, said SACCI.
National Treasury said the new CEO would commence his duties at SAA after his current employer has officially released him.
Jarana is currently Chief Officer for Vodacom Business at Vodacom Group LTD, a position he has held since 2012.
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba congratulated Jarana on his appointment.
“Given that Mr Jarana has turned around a loss-making subsidiary of the Vodacom Group, Vodacom Business Africa, into profitable and growth business, we believe he will be key in turning around SAA,” said Minister Gigaba on Thursday.
The national carrier has been without a permanent CEO following the suspension and subsequent resignation of Monwabisi Kalawe. Musa Zwane has been the national carrier’s acting CEO since 17 November 2015
At a media briefing at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) last month, Minister Gigaba said government has the responsibility to turn the airline’s fortunes around.
“[We have the] responsibility to turn the airline around by appointing someone with good business grounding, good business acumen, someone with turnaround expertise who is going to help us achieve what SAA has failed to achieve over the last period of about a decade. So much has happened at SAA, so many CEOs have come and gone, none of them have stayed long enough to achieve what is possible,” said the Minister at the time.