Calls for Denel to come clean on its finances

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A Denel Rooivalk on the runway at Ysterplaat Air Force Base.

A Denel Rooivalk on the runway at Ysterplaat Air Force Base.

JOHANNESBURG – The DA on Thursday demanded an urgent update from state-owned arms manufacturer Denel on the status of its financial affairs.

It comes after trade unions claimed Denel has run out of money and will not be able to pay its 4,000 staff their December salaries or pay its suppliers.

An emergency meeting between the company and trade unions Solidarity, Uasa and the National Union of Metalworkers did not yield results.

DA spokesperson on public enterprises Natasha Mazzone said reports that Denel was broke were a damning indictment of its leadership.

“Denel must come clean and give an urgent response as the DA has received numerous requests for intervention. It is clear that the executives can no longer be trusted to solve this impending emergency,” Mazzone said.

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“It is clear that the Denel management is completely inept and unable to handle any emergency. It is disheartening to imagine that during the festive season, Denel employees could potentially not receive their salaries after a long year of hard work and dedication.”

Mazzone said the country’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were in crisis and the fault must be placed squarely at the feet of Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.

“Under her watch, our SOEs have disintegrated due to corruption and gross mismanagement,” Mazzone said.

“The DA expects a comprehensive and swift response from Denel. We need to get to the bottom of this financial mess to ensure that Denel employees and suppliers are paid.”