Amanda Watson
News Editor
1 minute read
26 Jun 2019
6:20 am

Denel dodges a bullet amid rising retrenchments

Amanda Watson

Statistics SA reported eight out of 10 industries showed year-on-year increases in liquidations.

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 intervene to save Denel and to reject any attempts to privatize Denel and to impose salary cuts on workers. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Denel staff will be paid their full salaries for June, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan announced last night, after the arms manufacturer earlier in the day announced it could only pay 85% of employees’ salaries.

A lender has come to the assistance of Denel, but Gordhan did not name the lender.

It would’ve been the second time in less than a year Denel has been unable to meet its financial obligations to staff.

In September last year managers were paid short of their full salaries and a salary scare in December was averted.

Denel has joined MultiChoice, which was reportedly looking to shed about 2,000 jobs, while the SABC has the retrenchment of 981 permanent staff and 1,200 freelancers on hold while it waits for a R3.2 billion government guarantee.

In May, it came to light that the Amahlati local municipality in the Eastern Cape was unable to pay employee and councillors their May and June salaries.

Economist Mike Schussler said a lot of retrenchments were taking place currently.

“These are announced by the bigger companies.

“When the smaller ones retrench, they just die and you don’t hear anything.”

Yesterday Statistics SA announced the total number of liquidations had increased by 23.4% (41 more) in May this year compared to May last year. And “the total number of liquidations increased by 13.1% in the first five months of 2019 compared with the first five months of 2018”.

Statistics SA reported eight out of 10 industries showed year-on-year increases in liquidations. Trade, catering and accommodation was the major contributor (23 more liquidations, from 30 to 53).

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.