Thirteenth cheques for Denel PMP in doubt


Denel Pretoria Metal Pressings (PMP) employees may only be getting half of their thirteenth cheques due to what the company says is unforeseen circumstances.

At the beginning of December, PMP CEO Phaladi Petje told staff in an infogram that only 50% of November salaries would be able to be paid as not enough cash was collected. Yesterday, in another infogram to staff, Petje stated that the outstanding 50% of November salaries had been paid.

However, funds to pay 50% of thirteenth cheques for qualifying employees would be delayed. “All applicable resources are being allocated to collect all outstanding cash from clients in order to accelerate all outstanding payments.”

Petje apologised for the delayed salaries and thirteenth cheque payments.

Staff at the ammunition manufacturer are unsure if they will receive a December salary given the Denel Group’s liquidity crisis.

PMP has fared better than some other Denel divisions like Land Systems and Dynamics, whose staff have received no or partial pay for over a year, whereas PMP was, for example, able to pay full October salaries.

Denel Dynamics staff, on the other hand, for November only received 45% of their mandated pay, and just 20% in September. Denel Land Systems staff were told they were not getting any money in November, nor 13th cheques, due to extreme financial pressures.

Last month Denel announced the implementation of voluntary severance packages for staff in an effort to cut costs – it owes staff more than half a billion rand, and is facing pressure from trade unions and the labour court over salaries and benefits that have been unpaid since mid-2020.

Although Denel has been granted R2.9 billion by National Treasury, this is ringfenced for servicing debt, and not towards paying staff or suppliers, who are owed a combined R1.5 billion.