South African Airways (SAA)’s interim chief executive Thomas Kgokolo has announced that he will not be renewing his contract which ends on Saturday.
According to the chief executive officer on Friday, he declined to renew his contract with the airline for personal reasons.
Kgokolo was appointed to lead SAA in April last year while the airline was grounded, reeling from the added economic pressure of the Covid-19 pandemic and fresh from exiting a business rescue plan.
His contribution towards getting the airline to take to the skies once again in September last year was greatly praised by SAA non-executive director Bembe Zwane.
“Thomas took the job of CEO as leader of a cohort of a Transition Management Team. He was generous enough to offer his professional services under a short-term contract which we have eagerly extended on numerous occasions,” Zwane said.
He added: “But this time Thomas has requested us that his contract not be renewed. We appreciate the time he has given to SAA, and we look forward to the leadership of the executive team by John Lamola.”
According to the airline, Lamola would now assume both roles of SAA board executive chairman and CEO.
The troubled state-owned airline said it was now looking forward to further turning around its fortunes, saying that its business strategy “remains intact”, with the board and the Ministry of Public Enterprises “pursing their goal of a sustainable SAA for the good of the entire South African economy.”
“Since exiting business rescue in April 2021, SAA has made significant strides in improving revenue and reopening services -- both locally and regionally,” SAA said.
It added: “It is now fully focused on its transition to control by its envisaged majority shareholder, Takatso Consortium, which will take a 51% stake in SAA later in the year.”