Arms manufacturer Denel guns for R3.8bn bailout

Security guards at the entrance of Rheinmetall Denel Munition plant.
Security guards at the entrance of Rheinmetall Denel Munition plant.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER/Sunday Times

South African state defence company Denel has asked for R3.8 billion in state financial support over the next three fiscal years, the National Treasury told Reuters on Friday.

Denel, which makes military equipment for South Africa's armed forces and export, has struggled to pay salaries this year amid a liquidity crisis aggravated by the coronavirus crisis.

"Denel has requested a R3.8 billion bid over the 2021/22 to 2023/24 MTEF (Medium Term Expenditure Framework) period," the National Treasury said in an emailed response to questions.

A Denel spokeswoman was not able to immediately comment.State firms have been a long-term drain on the finances of Africa's most industrialised economy, requiring bailouts at a time of weak economic growth which have helped to lower its sovereign credit rating to "junk" status.

State agricultural lender Land Bank has asked for an extra 10 billion rand in government support over the next few years, it said this week.

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