South Africa

Tsepo Monaheng the new head of Denel

South Africa’s government-appointed Tsepo Monaheng as head of arms manufacturer Denel, the latest attempt by the authorities to turn around state companies that have been plagued by mismanagement and corruption.

Monaheng’s appointment will be effective as soon as he has concluded his commitments in his current role as chief executive officer of the South African Forestry Co. Ltd., or Safcol, the Department of Public Enterprises said in a statement on Friday. He was selected after a search that attracted 67 applicants for the role, it said.

“The appointment of Mr Monaheng underscores our commitment as government to put Denel on a firm strategic path as we reposition the company,” Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said in the statement.

“Denel is one of our strategic SOEs. We wish to see it reclaim its position as a provider of critical defense capabilities to our country.”

South African state-owned companies including monopoly power producer Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. and ports and rail operator Transnet have been crippled by years of mismanagement and corruption.

The country faced record electricity outages this year and blockages at its ports that have hobbled economic growth, hampering employment and fuelling rampant crime.

Denel has been in financial difficulties for years. A judicial panel investigating government corruption found last year that poor-quality appointments exacerbated the situation at the debt-stricken company, which is cutting jobs as part of a restructuring it plans to complete by the end of the year.

Monaheng’s appointment to the Denel role came after Gordhan earlier named Dan Marokane as CEO of Eskom after a yearlong search.

Safcol is one of the few public companies to report a profit in the past financial year, and the only one to declare a dividend and not receive a government bailout.

Monaheng previously headed Denel Dynamics for five years until 2017, before taking up his current post, according Monaheng’s Linked-In profile.


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