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Dept: SA in talks with Saudi Arabia over buying a portion of Denel

According to reports, Minister Lindiwe Sisulu told a briefing last week that the Saudi government has shown interest in getting a stake in the ailing parastatal.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Public Enterprises has confirmed discussions between Saudi Arabia and South Africa about buying a portion of arms firm Denel.

According to reports, International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu told a briefing last week that the Saudi government has shown interest in getting a stake in the ailing parastatal.

The state-own arms company is in a dire financial trouble after not receiving the additional R1 billion guarantee it requested from the government.

The Department of Public Enterprises says it would be premature to discuss and give details on the possibilities of a Denel deal with Saudi Arabia.

Spokesperson Adrian Lackay says President Cyril Ramaphosa visited Saudi Arabia in July and announced commitments from the Saudi government to invest $10 billion.

Lackay confirms there have also been talks between the Saudi Arabian Military Industries and various organs of state in South Africa.

Lackay says, however, that it would be speculative for the department to attempt to provide details of any specific transactions as none have been formally proposed at this point.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)