Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
PARLIAMENT - A rescue plan for South Africa's state-owned arms manufacturer Denel needed to be sped up so it did not negatively affect the capability of the army, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said on Friday.

Speaking after delivering her department's budget vote, Mapisa-Nqakula said the appointment of a new Denel board last month was welcomed, but that more needed to be done to ensure Denel could deliver to the the SA National Defence Force, which was Denel's biggest customer.

"The item of Denel is a standing item of the Council on Defence because we are concerned about the issue...we need to move with speed beyond the appointment of  the board, there is a need to develop a rescue plan for Denel," she said.

"As far as we are concerned that rescue plan should not mean the end of Denel."

Mapisa-Nqakula again ruled out the possibility of selling off a stake in the cash-strapped company.

"That [rescue plan] should not at all consider the sale of the assets of our country."

Earlier this week, the new Denel board announced the resignation of chief executive Zwelakhe Ntshepe.

Denel was the latest in a string of state-owned enterprise to undergo a shake-up due to governance and liquidity issues.

African News Agency/ANA