On May 12, 2023, Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, Obed Bapela, conducted an inspection of two State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs): Denel Land Systems (DLS) and Pretoria Metal Pressings (PMP). The purpose of the visit was to provide the Deputy Minister with an in-depth view of the facilities and gain insight into the opportunities that the South African arms and technology manufacturer, Denel, offers. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the tour.
Denel’s Turnaround Strategy
Denel SOC Limited has experienced a decline due to state capture and corruption. However, the company is implementing a comprehensive strategy to stabilize, restructure, and ultimately rebuild its reputation and capabilities. With R3.4 billion in capitalization, the Denel Group is poised to execute its turnaround plan to recreate the state arms and technology manufacturer. Currently, the company presents a R12 billion order book over its business plan cycle, with the potential to expand this figure to R30 billion within the medium term.
Inspection of Denel Land Systems
The tour commenced with an inspection of the DLS facility, known globally for its expertise in designing, manufacturing, and maintaining a wide range of military equipment. Among its notable products are the New Generation Infantry Combat Vehicle System (Badger/Hoefyster), Turret Systems, Rooikat, G5 and G6 Artillery, and other infantry combat systems. Accompanying Deputy Minister Bapela during the tour were Denel Board members, Interim DLS CEO William Hlakoane, and PMP CEO Phaladi Petje.
Visit to Pretoria Metal Pressings
The delegation then proceeded to Pretoria Metal Pressings, located in Pretoria West. PMP specializes in the integrated manufacturing of small- and medium-caliber ammunition, brass products, detonics, power cartridges, and mining drill-bits. This facility plays a crucial role in the South African defense industry, as well as contributing to the nation’s mining sector with its production of specialized drill-bits.
Media representatives were invited to join the tour, which included stops at Denel Land Systems and the Denel PMP Plant. This provided an opportunity for the press to gain insight into the ongoing efforts to stabilize and grow these critical SOEs. The media coverage of the tour is expected to shed light on the company’s progress and reinforce the public’s confidence in the government’s efforts to revive the struggling arms manufacturer.
Deputy Minister Bapela’s Emphasis
Throughout the tour, Deputy Minister Bapela emphasized the importance of Denel’s turnaround strategy for the company’s future success and its role in the South African economy. He expressed optimism in the potential growth of the order book and highlighted the need to focus on core business areas while ensuring efficient use of resources.
In conclusion, the visit by Deputy Minister Obed Bapela to Denel Land Systems and Denel Pretoria Metal Pressings demonstrates the government’s commitment to overseeing the successful implementation of the turnaround plan for these critical SOEs. The tour provided valuable insights into the current state of these facilities and their potential for growth, offering a comprehensive overview of the ongoing efforts to revitalize Denel and its subsidiaries. The government, industry stakeholders, and the broader public will be closely following the progress of these SOEs in the coming months and years.