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Denel SOC Ltd is a South African state-owned aerospace and military technology conglomerate established in 1992. It was created when the manufacturing subsidiaries of Armscor were split off in order for Armscor to become the procurement agency for South African Defence Force (SADF), now known as the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), and the manufacturing divisions were grouped together under Denel as divisions.
|Industry||Aerospace and Defence manufacturing|
|Headquarters||Centurion, City of Tshwane, Gauteng, South Africa|
|Daniel du Toit|
Gawie Van Zyl (Interim)
|Products||Guided missiles |
Armoured vehicle turrets
|Revenue||R 3.918 billion (FY 2013)|
|R 117 million (FY 2013)|
|R 71 million (FY 2013)|
|Total equity||R 1.17 billion (FY 2013)|
Number of employees
|Parent||100% state owned|
Denel was established as a state-owned industrial company under the Ministry of Public Enterprises in April 1992. It inherited most of Armscor's production and research facilities, and over 15,000 employees. At the time of its formation, Denel restructured and reorganised the former Armscor subsidiaries into a number of divisions and subsidiaries within five industrial groups: systems, manufacturing, aerospace, informatics, and properties and engineering services.
Denel has developed a number of notable products, such as:
- The Umkhonto vertical launched air defence missile.
- Mokopa tandem warhead anti-tank guided missile, with a range of 10 km.
- Together with Gerald Bull, the G6 self-propelled howitzer and G5 towed howitzer, the longest ranged guns in their class worldwide, supported with base bleed, VLAP and the advanced fuzing technology.
- The 5th generation A-Darter air-to-air missile, currently in the final phases of development.
Though Denel's market share is increasing, it still has not signed significant international contracts that will bring a real market return for its investments in development and research costs. In 2006, Denel signed a contract with the Finnish Navy for the Umkhonto air defence missile; this was a significant step, since it was the first significant sale to a western nation. The Swedish defence force was also interested in the Umkhonto missile, but due to budget constraints had to put its purchase on hold.
Although Denel has comparable quality products, at lower prices, it has struggled to attract buyers, with the Rooivalk attack helicopter being a prime example of this. After being developed at a cost of R1 billion, no sales were made as the contract from Turkey for $2 billion was lost. The development of the Rooivalk, which could be Denel's most profitable project, also threatens to result in its largest loss ever.
The following divisions form part of Denel
Chief Operating Officers through the yearsEdit
|Term started||Term ended||Surname||Name|
Companies part-owned by Denel.
In 2004 Denel CEO Victor Moche informed parliament that the company was near bankruptcy after suffering a loss in the financial year 2003/4 of R358 million contributing to a mounting company debt of R1 billion. This was blamed on a lack of access to foreign markets and not being able to secure domestic arms procurement contracts.
In 2016 it was revealed that Denel had entered into a controversial single source supplier deal for ten years with VR Laser. The deal was controversial due to the generous terms of the contract and because VR Laser was owned by the Gupta family which had close ties to then South African president Jacob Zuma. This contributed to Denel incurring a loss, the first in eight years, amounting to R1.7 billion putting the company in financial difficulty. This led to Denel not being able to pay staff and company pensioners. In 2017 the civil society group Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) stated that it had laid corruption charges against the company's chairman Daniel Mantsha. In March 2019 Denel representatives gave testimony to the Zondo Commission about the company's deal with the Gupta owned VR Laser. Department of Public Enterprises Acting Director-General stated that the deal resulted in up to R3 billion in lost revenue for Denel. Following the conclusion of forensic investigations into allegations of corruption in Denel the company announced in July 2019 that it would seek to recoup misspent money by pursuing civil and criminal action against former company executives.
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