No truth in SAA's "information clamp down"

Monday, August 20, 2018

South African Airways (SAA) has distanced itself from claims its employees are prohibited from accessing negative stories about the company using its equipment.

“We are astounded by bizarre claims that the airline has taken steps to prevent its employees from accessing negative stories about the company using its equipment (company issued mobile devices and computers). This is not only untrue, but also impossible to implement at SAA,” said the national carrier on Sunday.

This as news reports over the course of the week claimed staff were blocked to negative media reports about the company.

“We are not aware that any such advanced technology exists and we do not even have any such provision in our Information Technology (IT), Human Resources or Communication policies. SAA staff have access to all web news sites at all times.”

Meanwhile, the airline launched a mobile app as part of efforts to promote communication between management and employees.

The app enables employees to interact with Chief Executive Officer, Vuyani Jarana, and management in a more direct and secure manner.

The app can be downloaded on company-issued mobile devices as well as on personal devices to those employees who have access to computers only.

“The intention here is to enable communication through as many channels as possible for employees to use what is convenient to them. In addition, we seek to promote and not prevent access to information,” said SAA spokesperson, Tlali Tlali.

On Thursday, members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA), led by Chairperson Themba Godi, concluded a three-day oversight visit.

The committee conducted inspections at various areas at SAA including its subsidiaries, AirChefs and South African Airways Technical (SAAT). “During that time, the committee interacted with employees, management, executives and the board,” said Tlali.

On the last day of their visit, SCOPA held a meeting with both the executive team and the board where the committee raised a number of issues with the airline's leadership ranging from governance, strategy, solvency and liquidity as well as appointments and allegations of theft and corruption.

The committee did not raise concerns about an information clamp down within the company.

“If such unsubstantiated claims were made, we believe they must be rejected as they have no basis in fact and cannot be sustained by any credible evidence. These claims sought to create confusion, hurt the SAA brand and mislead members of SCOPA and the public at large.”

Earlier this month, SAA was moved back from the Department of Finance to the Department of Public Enterprises. -