Denel is a vital state organ with innovative, strategic defence industry skills which have been decimated in recent years.
Whilst noting recent observations by some stakeholders concerning the appointment of Mr Daniel du Toit as the new Group CEO, the urgent priorities for the current board is to return Denel to profitability and operational sustainability.
Mr Du Toit was appointed after a thorough, transparent and rigorous recruitment process that searched internally and externally for the most suitable candidate. Mr Du Toit emerged as the top candidate which the Board recommended to the Minister of Public Enterprises, and which was subsequently approved by the Cabinet.
The new CEO will be part of a broader team that will not only be diverse but will be truly representative of our country’s demographics.
The Denel Board is confident that Mr Du Toit is the right person to lead Denel in the next phase to revitalise the organisation and to restore confidence amongst investors, clients, partners and suppliers. Ms Monhla Hlahla, Denel Board Chairman says, “The decision to appoint Mr Du Toit was made with our eyes open to the racial and gender imbalances in our country and in the knowledge that we are accountable to the country on the decisions we make as a board.”
Du Toit is a distinguished industry leader with wide ranging experience in the defence, technology and aerospace environments, predominantly in the private sector. During his five-year tenure at Denel, he will build on the turnaround strategy introduced by the Board in 2018 and lead the efforts to restore Denel’s position as a global technology leader and one of the top defence companies in the southern hemisphere.
“For Denel, transformation of our workforce profile is a non-negotiable legislative imperative that is implemented in a responsible manner across the group”, says Ms Hlahla.
Denel has made measurable progress in transforming what was previously a white male dominated company. Today it is a diverse organisation where black employees make up 61% of the workforce, while female representation has grown to 27%. During the past year (2018), 84% of new appointments were from designated racial groups - African, Coloured and Indian; with more than 50% of new appointees being female.
“We have no doubt about Mr Du Toit’s commitment to the transformation of the company and we are confident that he will lead the process to turn Denel into a company that reflects our aspirations to be a truly representative and admired South African company,” says Ms Hlahla.
Currently, there is a 16-member executive team consisting of three African males, one African female, three White males (including Mr Du Toit), one Indian male, and eight vacancies. “The new Group CEO is tasked with streamlining the executive team and appointing a diverse team with the right skills set to take the company forward,” says Ms Hlahla.
The Denel board is open to constructive engagement with any stakeholder on how Denel can be restored to a position of pride as a national asset of the South African state.