Troubled SA arms maker Denel appoints interim CEO
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's struggling state-owned aerospace and military technology company Denel said on Monday its board had appointed independent non-executive director Talib Sadik as interim group chief executive officer with immediate effect.
Cash strapped Denel has struggled to pay workers' salaries for months, and the government was forced to inject a R1.8 billion (now US$104 million) recapitalisation bailout last year which was widely criticised by opposition parties.
Last month the arms maker said chief executive Danie du Toit would step down on August 15, but did not give reasons for his departure.
On Monday it said Sadik, a qualified chartered accountant who served as Denel’s group CEO between 2008 and 2012, had worked with the board in developing a turnaround plan for the company, and that this positioned him well for a seamless transition.
"Mr Sadik ... brings a wealth of experience that will be of value to Denel," it added.
Denel chairwoman Monhla Hlahla said the board was continuing its efforts to transform Denel into a sustainable defence and advance manufacturing company and assured employees, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders that the focus on the turnaround strategy was top priority.
The company said the recruitment process for a permanent group chief executive was underway.
Last year South African President Cyril Ramaphosa listed Denel among key state-owned enterprises that his government was determined not to let collapse, among them national carrier SAA, which has been under business rescue since December, as well as logistics company Transnet, power utility Eskom and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).
Ramaphosa said some of the problems at the state firms had been caused by outdated business models, and this was the reason, for example, that Eskom was in the process of establishing three separate entities for generation, transmission and distribution.
- African News Agency (ANA)