South Africa’s public enterprises minister has informed the country’s parliament that South African Airways and SA Express are not going concerns, in a letter explaining delays in the carriers’ annual report submission.

Pravin Gordhan stated that he was responsible for tabling the 2018-19 annual statements and audit reports for both carriers six months after the end of their financial years.

Both SAA’s and SA Express’s financial years ended on 31 March, and their boards are required to provide the information to the ministry within five months.

But Gordhan says, in a 27 September letter to parliament, that the boards have “not been able to finalise and submit” the annual reports within the prescribed deadlines.

“Both airlines are experiencing serious financial challenges and are unable to meet going concerns,” he adds.

SAA has told the minister that its newly-appointed interim chief executive and chief financial officers need more time to hand the information to the auditor general.

It has also requested an extension to the window in which it needs to hold its annual general meeting – an extension which has been granted until the end of March 2020.

SA Express has similarly been unable to finalise its annual statements “due to financial constraints”, the letter says. “[The] government remains committed to find a sustainable solution to the challenges facing the airlines.”