A Good Year For South African Weapons Manufacturer Denel

Denel Rooivalk
Denel built Rooivalk attack helicopter

AFRICANGLOBE – With the end of another year fast approaching South Africa’s State-owned defence industry conglomerate Denel can look back on a successful year in financial and human resource terms.

Denel Group chief executive Riaz Saloojee said Denel had enjoyed “a remarkably successful year” as well as setting the course to long term growth and sustainability.

The effects of the international economic slowdown Denel reported a profit for the fourth year in a row allowing Saloojee to be optimistic about an upward trajectory based on a confirmed order book and future business prospects.

“We continue to evolve from a predominantly defence-company to a high technology powerhouse with a firm presence in aerospace, aviation, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), missile technology and the space sciences.

“It is within this context that the establishment of a new division, Denel Integrated Systems and Maritime, denotes another important transition in our company’s growth.

“Our proven capabilities in landward defence and aerospace are now being extended into the maritime environment and we are putting in place a capable and experienced team to lead this division. With this development, Denel is also responding proactively to two important challenges posed to us during the course of 2014.

“The one is the recommendation contained in the Defence Review 2014 which emphasised the need for Denel to expand its offering into the strategic arenas of systems integration, command and control and electronic warfare, including in the maritime arena.

“The second was the call of the new Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, when she attended our Annual General Meeting shortly after her appointment. While noting the progress Denel has made in the field of transformation, she called for a stronger role for women in the upper echelon of management,” he writes in the Denel Insights publication.

The establishment of DISM (Denel Integrated systems and Maritime) division has seen changes at executive level including the appointment of two women as deputy chief executives.

As one of seven State-owned companies (SOCs) listed by the Department of Public Enterprises, Denel was in the final quarter of the year on the receiving end of a visit by Parliament’s Select Committee on Communications and Public Enterprises. Other SOCs Brown has to oversee include troubled Eskom, SAA and SA Express as well as Transnet, the SA Forestry Company (Safcol) and Alexkor.

In addition to hearing about progress on Denel’s financial turnaround and skills development strategies committee members toured Denel Dynamics on the company’s Irene, Centurion, campus where they met and were briefed by the current crop of interns at the Denel Engineering Academy.