CAPE TOWN–The National Treasury has released South African Airways’ (SAA) financial presentation to Parliament after the House Standing Committee on Finance (SCOF) postponed its meeting to review the national carrier’s fourth quarter results.

The fourth quarter presentation, which was meant to be presented at the SCOF meeting, revealed that SAA’s net losses were 1.2 billion Rand (about 95.2 million US dollars), well above the budgeted amount. The airline had budgeted a loss of R610 million in the fourth quarter, with actual losses at R1.84 billion.

The losses reported in the presentation were mainly driven by revenue and currency translation losses.

The presentation showed that for the year, the group’s net loss was R2.9 billion worse than budget, driven both by revenue and operating costs performance below budget. The presentation showed that the actual loss was R5.6 billion from the budgeted net loss of R2.8 billion

The SCOF meeting, which was meant to be held on Wednesday, was postponed over a lack of agreement on whether the session should be held in committee or in public.

This emanates from the application made by the chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance to have some of the presentations by South African Airways (SAA) held in private in order to protect the confidentiality of some of SAA’s strategies, said the Finance Ministry on Wednesday.

The ministry said unlike many other State-owned enterprises (SOEs) which operate as sole providers of services, national flag carrier SAA is a commercial enterprise which operates in a highly competitive environment.

The duty to account to a parliamentary committee must be balanced with the degree of protection of the confidentiality of SAA’s commercial strategies.