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Denel’s troubles are a big worry for South Africa’s armed forces  

By Xolisa Phillip, in Johannesburg
Posted on Tuesday, 18 May 2021 04:37

Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa hold placards during their march to the ministry of public enterprises in the capital Pretoria, South Africa, 9 November 2018. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

The operational and financial woes at Denel, the state-owned defence systems company, are threatening the combat readiness of South Africa’s armed forces. 

Denel is a key product supplier and service provider to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the South African Air Force (SAAF).

Revelations about how Denel’s precarious state of affairs is affecting the SANDF and the SAAF, and the danger that this poses given the current volatile situation in northern Mozambique, have alarmed parliamentarians. South Africa also plays an important role in peace-keeping and rescue missions throughout the continent.

A letter written by Major General Setete Malakoane, SAAF’s chief director of force development and support, which was leaked by Democratic Alliance MP Kobus Marais, details the extent to which Denel’s shortcomings are affecting the armed forces.