Mr Fix-It begins mammoth task of turning Denel around by appointing interim board

Mr Fix-It begins mammoth task of turning Denel around by appointing interim board

- Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has continued the mammoth task of resurrecting the fortunes of state-owned enterprises (SOE’s) by announcing a new board for Denel

- Gordhan says the new Denel board is the first step in restoring the shattered reputation of the state-owned defence company

- Eskom was the first SOE to come under Gordhan’s microscope when he appointed a new board in January

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Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, also known as Mr Fix-it, has continued with what is probably the most difficult and arguably the most crucial role in President Ramaphosa’s administration, resurrecting the ailing fortunes of state-owned enterprises (SOE’s).

Gordhan has appointed a new interim board at the state-owned defence company Denel. This comes after he held a series of meetings with Denel executives and representatives.

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Gordhan said in years gone by Denel had one of the best reputations in the industry, but sadly that reputation had been squandered in recent years. He said the new board was the first step in repairing Denel’s shattered reputation. can confirm former Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) CEO Monhla Hlahla has been appointed as the chairperson of the new Denel board. None of the former board members were retained by Gordhan, who clearly isn’t taking prisoners.

Hlahla said the new board would start by trying to get a clear picture of the financial health of the company. The board is expected to pour over and ruthlessly scrutinise Denel’s 2016/2017 financial reports in the coming weeks.

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene warned Denel could collapse unless far-reaching decisions were taken and immediate action implemented.

Gordhan and Nene are seen by many as a dream team to rescue South Africa from the brink of economic disaster.

Gordhan said he had already engaged with key stakeholders to find a way forward for Denel. “I met with organised labour and a variety of Denel’s suppliers to hear their suggestions on how to correct what is wrong,” he said.

Denel is the second SOE which has gotten the Mr Fix-It treatment. In January Gordhan made much-needed changes to Eskom’s board. Upon taking office Gordhan warned he could not wave a magic wand and fix all the issues facing SOE’s in an instant.

Gordhan said he would take his time to analyse what the problems were at various SOE’s before he would start formulating turn-around strategies for those companies.

The minister said financially strong and independent SOE’s had a vital role to play in growing an inclusive economy from which all South Africans could benefit.

The new Denel board consists of the following people in addition to Hlahla: Zoli Kunene, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, General Themba Matanzima, Gloria Serobe, Talib Sadik, Sue Rabkin, Dr Sibusiso Sibisi, Cheryl Carolus, Nonzukiso Siyotula, Thami Magazi and Martin Mnisi.

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