File image: IOL.

CAPE TOWN - Arms deals magnate, Denel is withholding workers self-funded bonuses, without any indication of when it will be paid, leaving employees enraged. 

Workers are in a deadlock, not knowing when they will receive their rightful bonus savings which come from a self-funded employee savings initiative. 

Workers forgo a part of their monthly salary which is then due to be paid out to them at the end of November. This money essentially serves as a bonus for December. 

"Denel is in financial difficulty and they do not have cash on hand. They owe so much money and the HR division is making the best of what they have", said United Association of South Africa (UASA) Sector Manager, Willie van Eeden. 

When the UASA raised concerns with Denel Corporate, they were given a vague response. 

"I am still awaiting a comprehensive response from Finance; but indications from Treasury are that payments will not happen today or tomorrow as per your deadlines", said Transformation Manager at Denel Corporate, Felane Mahlangu. 

READ: Auditor-general has queries with Denel

Two divisions are affected by this, Pretoria PMP and Denel Aviation Markets, said van Eeden. 

"This is unacceptable. Senior officials get 50% of their annual salary as performance bonus which is about half a million rand while employees have to wait for a R10 000 bonus", added van Willie. 

This is also the second time that bonuses have been withheld, noted van Willie. 

The first time that Denel withheld bonuses was not in August last year. Workers were supposed to receive a bonus in August but only received it on December 23, 2016. 

Just four months ago, Denel has appointed two senior officials. This over-expenditure on contracts that Denel is not able to afford is tearing down the arms deals even further. 

Fedusa General Secretary Dennis George said that in this respect government’s failure has seen Denel progressively fall into a state of dysfunction, maladministration and becoming a huge financial drain on the fiscus in the form of continuous multi-billion rand bailouts and government guarantees that help them secure overdraft facilities at commercial banks. It is common knowledge that this has a serious impact on the broader civil society and all the employees and their families.

To prevent further damage and disruption to Denel’s public and international image, UASA requests urgent intervention to ensure a full forensic audit regarding Denel’s financial position.

READ ALSO: Denel clears up 'irregular expenditure' rumours