Numsa members march to demand govt saves Denel

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Hundreds of National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) members marched to the department of
public enterprises offices in Pretoria today demanding government save state-owned arms manufacturer, Denel.

The union said it remains dismayed that no financial bailout package was allocated to Denel, putting at risk thousands of jobs.

Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi said the struggling state-owned arms company wanted to reduce hours in the workplace and cut salaries by 20 percent on staff costs.

“We reject this because it’s not workers’ fault that Denel finds itself in this financial crisis. It’s because of poor decision-making at the highest level, it’s because of allegations of corruption and looting at the highest level,” Hlubi said.

Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) march to the Ministry of Public Enterprises in Pretoria, 9 November 2018, to demand that it intervenes to save Denel and reject any attempts to privatize Denel and impose salary cuts on workers. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

She said the union is demanding that the government injects the needed funds in the form of a bailout to save Denel from sinking deeper into financial crisis.

Denel made a R1.7 billion loss during the last financial year.

Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) march to the Ministry of Public Enterprises in Pretoria, 9 November 2018, to demand that it intervenes to save Denel and reject any attempts to privatize Denel and impose salary cuts on workers. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The union wants the government to inject no less than R7 billion into the cash-strapped entity.

“Such an amount will go a long way, not just to pay Denel’s suppliers, but it will be sufficient enough to ensure a viable turnaround strategy,” said union general secretary, Irvin Jim, in a statement.

Jim said spending money on Denel is compulsory and it cannot be blocked or compromised by conservative, “right-wing” austerity measures.

African News Agency (ANA)

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Source:citizen.co.za