South African Airways (SA, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) Chief Executive Officer Vuyani Jarana has shelved plans to dispose of a stake in a proposed new carrier holding firm pending a turnaround in the state-owned airline's financial performance.

Speaking to Bloomberg earlier this week, Jarana said any prospective investor would likely only be attracted to the airline once it has been successfully restructured and is financially self-sustaining.

The South African government had earlier floated a plan to merge SAA, South African Express, and Mango Airlines into a singular holding company in order to strengthen their balance sheet.

The flag carrier's CEO said that in order to attain its goal of breaking even by 2021, SAA would persevere with its network and capacity adjustment plan, initiated last year. Under the plan, several long-haul and regional services have been terminated with surplus narrowbody capacity being placed with its Mango low-cost subsidiary,

SAA is also looking at the possible disposal of assets to help shore up its cash pile. It is recalled that the South African Treasury was forced to issue a ZAR19.1 billion (USD1.34 billion) guarantee facility to SAA last year as part of efforts to prop the loss-making airline up.

Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu painted a grim picture last week in his findings to parliament when he highlighted the fact that despite recurrent turnaround efforts, the airline had incurred a ZAR5.5 billion (USD470 million) loss in 2017 against ZAR1.47 billion for the previous year. As such, he echoed several previous audit findings which have questioned SAA's ability to remain buoyant.

“The history of losses, lack of capital and volatility in foreign exchange rates, along with maturing loans and working capital deficiencies, indicate that a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern,” he said.

Meanwhile, as part of the clampdown on corruption across South Africa's parastatals following the ousting of the ex-President Jacob Zuma, two SAA executives have been summoned for disciplinary proceedings after allegations of corruption were levelled against them in a recent court-ordered forensic audit.

Labour union Numsa states the two are the CEO of SAA Technical (in his capacity as acting CEO of SAA) Musa Zwane and SAA Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Phumeza Nhantsi. The airline has since replaced Zwane with Nona Sonjani while Wellington Nyuswa has been appointed acting CFO.

For her part, former airline chairman and Zuma stalwart Dudu Myeni has also been called to testify before a parliamentary portfolio committee but has thus far avoided doing so on the grounds of ill health.