CAPE TOWN, April 10 – Executives at Denel, South Africa’s state-owned arms manufacturer, on Tuesday welcomed the appointment of new board members and pledged support to help steer the cash-strapped organisation in a new direction.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan announced the new board on Monday and tasked them with improving corporate governance and liquidity challenges.
“We especially welcome the Minister’s confirmation that Denel is a strategic national asset and is vital for national security, technology and economic development,” said Zwelakhe Ntshepe, Denel group chief executive, in a statement.
“Management and employees of Denel firmly believe in the future of the company. We design and manufacture world-class products in the defence and technology environments. We have well-established footholds in key international markets.”
The new board chairman is Monhla Hlala, former chairwoman of the Airports Company of South Africa. Hlala’s fellow board members are Zoli Kunene, Tshilidzi Marwala, General TT Matanzima, Gloria Serobe, Talib Sadiq, Sue Rabkin, Sibusiso Sibisi, Cheryl Carolus, Nonzukiso Siyotula, Thami Magazi, and Martin Mnisi.
Ntshepe, who was appointed last year, echoed Gordhan’s sentiments that the company faced reputational and liquidity risks “that in December 2017 even threatened the payment of staff salaries”.
“Denel is a vital contributor to the safety and security of South Africa and all its citizens and we have the potential to be a major catalyst for the future growth of the technology and advanced manufacturing sectors in the country,” said Ntshepe.