01 Nov

UASA Media Release: 01 November 2021

Statement by Abigail Moyo, spokesperson of the trade union UASA:

UASA finds it deeply concerning that yet another explosion took place at a Denel site, this time the missile manufacturing division under Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) at Denel’s Somerset West plant just outside Cape Town.

Considering that this is the second explosion at Denel in four years, UASA is anxious about the safety of our members employed by the state-owned weapons manufacturer. This reckless lack of concern for the wellbeing of our members is completely unacceptable.

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, possible loss of life and injuries.

UASA demands proof of qualified explosion and other managers in all Denel divisions who oversee projects that could result in a dangerous work environment for our members and workers in general at all Denel divisions. Where there are none, such managers must be appointed without delay. The safety of our members and workers cannot be jeopardised by plants that are operating without qualified managers to oversee processes.

While we are relieved that the massive explosion that shook the plant in Somerset West last night did not claim lives or caused 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. UASA needs to be able to ensure its members that they are operating in a safe environment, as is their right as employees.

For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact Abigail Moyo at 065 170 0162 .

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