Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
18 Feb 2021
12:09 pm

Numsa demands independent probe into deadly ArcelorMittal explosion

Siyanda Ndlovu

'We have no faith in the management of ArcelorMittal, which has shown that black lives do not matter,' says the metalworkers union.

Picture: iStock

Unions have called on the Department of Employment and Labour to conduct a full investigation after the death of three mineworkers at the ArcelorMittal plant in Vanderbijlpark.

The three were confirmed dead on Thursday morning by the plant and unions.

The company said that it had started investigations into the cause of the incident.

“All relevant authorities have been notified and have been on site. The company will cooperate fully with their investigations,” reads the company’s statement.

However, the National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa) said that it did not trust the investigations by ArcelorMittal and have called for the labour department to step up.

”We call on the Department of Employment and Labour to leave no stone unturned in finding the true cause of this incident,” the union said in a tweet on Thursday.

“We have no faith in the management of ArcelorMittal, which has shown that black lives do not matter.”

Initial reports had suggested that there was an explosion at the iron plant and that the explosion happened at around 2am on Wednesday.

The company has since denied reports of the explosion.

According to the company, the death was a result of a 90m stack failing and falling onto the coke battery control room in which the three were working.

ALSO READ: 3 workers trapped in ArcelorMittal building collapse found dead

It said that the safety of its employees and contractors remained top of the company’s s primary concerns.
“This is an absolute tragedy, and we will do a full and thorough investigation to understand what happened so that we can avoid anything like this from happening again at ArcelorMittal South Africa,” said Kobus Verster, chief executive officer.
Verster said the company was also giving families of the three deceased all the necessary support they needed.

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