July 19, 2019: Johannes Bhekumuzi Magwaza, chairman of South African Airways (SAA), will be leaving by the end of July. He follows CEO Vuyani Jarana who quit in June, saying his turnaround strategy for the loss-making airline was being undermined by a lack of state funding and too much of bureaucracy.

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan has stated that Magwaza who headed the airline since 2017 had quit for personal reasons.

Zukisa Ramasia has been appointed as an acting chief executive whose first job was to secure aircraft to enable SAA to continue its long-haul offerings. She signed leases for two A350-900s which will be replacing old A340s on the long haul flights such as Johannesburg to New York. They should begin service within the next four months.

SAA is currently searching for a permanent CEO while president Cyril Ramaphosa who last month announced a plan to introduce reforms in state-owned firms, including SAA, in a bid to get them back on the right track economically, will lead the hunt for a new chairman.

The airline which is rated in the top 100 in the world has not made a profit since 2011.

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