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Denel EXPLOSION: Trade Union calls for urgent investigation

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Nov 1, 2021

The United Association of South Africa (UASA) trade union has raised concern about the latest explosion at a Denel site on Sunday night.

USASA called for a thorough investigation into what caused the explosion and for an urgent update regarding the incident.

UASA spokesperson, Abigail Moyo, said that the trade union found it “deeply concerning” that yet another explosion had taken place at a Denel site. The explosion occurred at the state-owned missile manufacturing division under Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) at Denel’s Somerset West plant just outside Cape Town. There were no fatalities or injuries in the blast.

“Considering that this is the second explosion at Denel in four years, UASA is anxious about the safety of those employed by the state-owned weapons manufacturer. This reckless lack of concern for the well-being of workers is completely unacceptable,” Moyo said.

“We have reason to fear that at least one Denel site in Gauteng may be operating without a properly qualified explosion manager in place which may lead to more disastrous mishaps and possible loss of life and injuries,” she said.

Moyo demanded proof of the qualified explosion and other managers in all Denel divisions who oversee projects that could result in a dangerous work environment for its members and other workers in general. 

“Where there are none, such managers should be appointed without delay. The safety of workers cannot be jeopardised by plants that are operating without qualified managers to oversee processes,” Moyo said.

“While we are relieved that the massive explosion that shook the plant in Somerset West last night did not claim lives or cause injuries amongst our members and other workers employed at the state-owned company, we trust that the company will conduct a thorough investigation into the events leading up to the explosion and expect an update as a matter of urgency,” Moyo said.

“UASA needs to be able to ensure its members that they are operating in a safe environment, as is their right as employees,” she added.

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