UASA taking Denel to court over unpaid salaries


The United Association of South Africa (UASA) trade union has said it is taking Denel to court after failing to find a solution to the issue of salary non-payment, on the heels of trade union Solidarity announcing the same.

UASA last week said it will be in the Labour Court on the 4th of August 2020 to launch an urgent application for a compliance order to force Denel to honour its contractual obligations.

“It became clear during our engagements that there are fundamental differences between the management of Denel and the Chairperson of the Board, Ms Monhla Hlahla. During a meeting on the 9th of July 2020, the Board Chairperson denied having any knowledge of the short payment of salaries and distanced herself from the proceedings,” UASA said.

“She also indicated that the corporate plan presented to her by Denel management, which contained proposals for the survival of the State Owned Entity, was not presented to the Minister of Public Enterprises, as she did not trust the proposal.

“Non-payment of salaries by a state owned entity has left UASA wondering why the government has allowed this company of strategic importance to the security of South Africa, to fall into such disarray.

“UASA members, who were at all times loyal to Denel, now have to carry the burden of poor management decisions and find themselves in a desperate financial position as they are unable to meet their financial obligations towards their creditors and families,” UASA said.

Solidarity, meanwhile, last week said it was taking Denel to court over the non-payment of salaries. Solidarity aviation and defence sector co-ordinator Helgard Cronjé said the union is also unhappy with the performance of the Denel board and the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), government’s shareholder representative, and National Treasury, under the management of Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.

“There appears to be a total lack of commitment regarding a successful turnaround for Denel. Any number of turnaround plans were previously submitted by management but the board and the minister (Pravin Gordhan) are not prepared to accept responsibility and provide the financial assistance required. Solidarity has no choice but to continue with urgent legal action,” he said. It is not clear when Solidarity will move to court.