Denel: Interim board gives staff, management new hope

Denel management and staff say the appointment of an interim board marks a new beginning for the cash-strapped state-owned arms maker.

This undated file photo shows Denel interim board chairperson Monhla Hlahla. Picture: World Economic Forum/Flickr

CAPE TOWN – Denel management and staff say the appointment of an interim board marks a new beginning for the cash-strapped state-owned arms maker.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan announced the new board members on Monday, naming former Airport Company South Africa CEO Monhla Hlahla as chairperson.

Allegations of state capture tarnished Denel’s reputation and a liquidity crisis last year meant that payment of employees and suppliers was delayed.

Denel’s Group Executive for Communications and Public Affairs, Vuyelwa Qinga, says the interim board’s appointment has given staff and management new hope.

“They are people who come with very strong backgrounds and there’s also knowledge of the defence industry.”

The new board has a tough list of priorities to tackle, including assessing the effectiveness of the management team and reviewing major contracts. But the biggest job will be reviving Denel’s finances.

“The minister has also said that, in welcoming them so we are all singing from the same hymn sheet.”

Gordhan has said the board’s job includes trying to recover any money lost through state capture.

LISTEN: Gordhan: Interim board will recapture Denel