Rheinmetall Denel order book – and employee numbers – growing


Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) increased sales over the last four years from R1.08 billion in 2011 to reach R2.14 billion in 2015.

At the same time the company increased the number of employees from 1 563 in December 2011 to around the two thousand mark 2000 in August this year.

Norbert Schulze, RDM chief executive, said in its 2015 financial year the company posted considerable growth in earnings before tax and held an order book of just over R4 billion at year end.

RDM is a strategic equity partnership between South Africa’s state-owned enterprise Denel, and Germany’s Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH (RWM).

Commenting on RDM’s latest financial results, Schulze said the successful partnership between Denel and RWM saw the company’s profit grow from R93 million in 2011 to R 207 million in 2016.
“In particular, due to major export contracts the company showed continued growth and in the process made a substantial contribution to South Africa’s export earnings. We have set ourselves ambitious targets and are expecting to reach turnover close to R4 billion in the next three years.”

This export drive has also provided a consistent flow of income for the modernisation of RDM’s existing facilities which Schulze said was encouraging at a time when the South African economy was facing major difficulties.

To prepare for an increase in orders over the next few years RDM has made considerable capital investments in the modernisation of its plants and upgrading of equipment.

The chemical plant at Wellington in Western Cape was refurbished, resulting in a world-class, modern facility with increased capacity.

Similarly, a further investment of R550 million is planned for all four the company’s operations that will ensure quality commitments to its clients and the safety of its employees.

Additionally, through the introduction of new technologies derived from international customer requirements – developed with RDM’s cash flow in South Africa – the company is able to provide the SA National Defence Force with the most modern ammunition at no extra cost.

Schulze said RDM was also investing greatly in education and training in South Africa.

Last year the company established the RDM Academy which focusses on mentoring and coaching young engineering graduates. To date 25 graduates have served internships in the company through the Academy. Last year, all interns took up full-time employment in the company.

RDM is also committed to addressing the standard of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) training in the country. In May, RDM donated fully-equipped computer, chemistry and physical science laboratories to the Sonyongwana High School in rural Kwazulu-Natal. Of its 900 learners 500 are taking maths in grades 10, 11 and 12.