The Democratic Alliance  has written to state-owned arms manufacturer Denel asking it for an update on the true status of its financial affairs.

Denel has confirmed it is facing a financial crisis, and that it’s allegedly defaulting on its payments to suppliers and staff bonuses.

Labour union UASA is up in arms and is demanding that the arms manufacturer pay workers bonuses which they funded themselves.

DA shadow Minister of Public Enterprises Natasha Mazzone says this is concerning.

“What we are concerned about is the employees that work at Denel. It’s disheartening that over the festive season Denel will be unable to pay their employees and suppliers. And Denel employees could possibly not receive their salaries after a long year of work and dedication. And we feel this is not fair and the problem lies with the management and we want a full explanation.”

Meanwhile, Denel has confirmed that it’s suffering a cash crisis and admitted that it was defaulting on supplier payments and 13th cheques to employees.

Labour union UASA broke the news when frustrated Denel workers informed the union of their situation.

UASA demands that Denel finds the money to pay the workers’ bonuses, particularly those bonuses self-funded by staff.

“They decided that they will let us know before close of business today if they have money to make payment for December salaries because at the same time they went to see Treasury to see if they can assist them in terms of interim relief or what the case might be. From Uasa side via Fedusa we also went to Treasury to put some pressure on Treasury” says Uasa’s Willie van Eeden.