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Hlahla: 'Commercial mindset must be adopted to get Denel back on track'

State arms manufacturer Denel says it hopes to have a plan in place by January that will outline the company’s future, including who it will do business with and what products it will produce.

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

CAPE TOWN - State arms manufacturer Denel says it hopes to have a plan in place by January that will outline the company’s future, including who it will do business with and what products it will produce.

Appearing before Parliament’s Public Enterprises committee on Wednesday, board chairperson Monhla Hlahla says the company is a national asset and a commercial mindset needs to be adopted to get it back on track.

Despite the company’s precarious financial state, Hlahla has ruled out partnerships with Qatar and Saudi Arabia, both of which have made overtures towards the state-owned company.

Denel is cleaning house, but Hlahla says the arms manufacturer is not for sale.

“This board is determined to show that there’s so much value in Denel that it’s good for South Africa.”

Denel is reviewing all its contracts, including a major deal with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), known as Hoefyster.

The company’s property portfolio is also under consideration to reduce space occupation and for possible sale.

A number of forensic investigations are also ongoing and a proclamation for an in-depth probe by the Special Investigating Unit is being finalised.

A probe into irregular expenditure of half a billion rand is also due for completion this month.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)