Overdue Denel AGMs reprieved by Companies Tribunal

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Denel, under the leadership of a permanent chief executive for the first time in over three years, has been reprieved by the Companies Tribunal for not timeously holding annual general meetings (AGMs).

The reprieve was reported by Johannesburg-based financial daily Business Day, which noted the Centurion-headquartered State-owned defence and technology conglomerate last held an AGM in January 2021. The Companies Tribunal has it, in terms of the Companies Act, that AGMs must be held annually and no more than 15 months after the date of the previous AGM.

Business Day reported the SOE had finalised its financials “but the Auditor General (AG) was unable to conclude the audits within the stipulated time”. This “forced” Denel to request further extensions for the 2021, 2022 and 2023 financial years by no later than the end of May this year. The request was granted by the Companies Tribunal, the paper reported.

The Companies Tribunal is an agency of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) established in terms of the Companies Act to provide speedy resolution of company disputes.

Also this week, Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow public enterprises minister Mimmy Gondwe heard the Denel’s turnaround plan will be implemented over a three year period with the stabilise and sustain component already done. It is envisaged the turnaround plan will be fully implemented by the end of the 2024/25 financial year.

She was further told by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, in response to a Parliamentary question, that Denel’s order book stands at R4 406 million with R16 580 million listed as “order pipeline/winnable projects” at the end of last year.

In a reply to another parliamentary question, it also emerged this month that Denel has not paid out any bonuses to the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operations Officer and the Chief Financial Officer since May 2019.