The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) is opposed to the government selling a stake in struggling state-run arms firm Denel and will fight attempts to force through salary cuts, the union said on Wednesday. Denel, which makes weapons, missiles and armoured vehicles for the South African armed forces and clients in Africa, the Gulf and Europe, is battling to stay afloat after reporting a R1.7bn loss. President Cyril Ramaphosa has made shoring up ailing state-owned enterprises (SOEs) a priority and said last week that Denel was “ripe” for joint venture partnerships after Saudi Arabia offered to take a stake in the weapons manufacturer. Unions are an important support base for the ANC, so Ramaphosa must tread carefully before next year’s parliamentary election. “When you bring in an equity partner, there is always a likelihood that there will be jobs lost, so we, as Numsa, are opposed to any form of privatisation,” said the union’s regional secretary Jerry Morulane. “We also ...

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