The South African Government has returned oversight of South African Airways (SA, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) to the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), just over three and a half years after it was moved to the National Treasury.

A Presidency statement said the administration of the South African Airways Act, and accompanying functions, were moved from the Minister of Finance back to the Minister of Public Enterprises via a proclamation that was gazetted on August 1, 2018.

"As the executive authority for other major state-owned companies, including South African Express (XZ, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo), the Minister of Public Enterprises is best placed to be the custodian of all of the state’s aviation assets. These assets are South African Airways (SAA) and its subsidiary Mango Airlines (JE, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) and SA Express," the statement said.

The transfer follows a study commissioned by the National Treasury and the DPE to develop the optimal group structure for the country's state-owned aviation assets. The recommendations from this study, if considered appropriate, could result in changes to SAA's group structure.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, has appointed Siza Mzimela as the new acting CEO of SA Express. Current acting CEO Matsietsi Mokholo will be moved to the Presidency making space for Mzimela who will assume her new position within the next two weeks.

Mzimela is a former CEO of SAA and also ran her own now-defunct regional carrier, Fly Blue Crane (FBC, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo), between September 2015 and March 2017.

Following the reinstatement of its AOC last month, SA Express said it would resume flights once it has been able to secure Certificates of Airworthiness for its entire fleet of 22 aircraft. Thus far, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has only approved two aircraft, both of which are Dash 8-400s.