Tebogo Msimanga |
Numsa disgusted and disappointed
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) says it is dismayed, disgusted and disappointed by the compromised health and safety of its members, and the “casual attitude” that the management at ArcelorMittal South Africa displays towards this issue.
Three workers, Thami Molefe, Lesenyeho Mofokeng and Mpho Madumisa passed away on the 17th of February 2021 following an explosion at AMSA which caused a building to collapse on top of them.
NUMSA National spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said workers voluntarily worked throughout the night to ensure that their bodies were recovered. “Workers took the initiative and volunteered all night and they removed the fallen rocks with their bare hands because ArcelorMittal does not have an in-house emergency rescue team.”
Hlubi-Majola said they declare that the deaths of their comrades will not be in vain.”We will not back down until AMSA takes the necessary steps to guarantee the health and safety of employees.”
Numsa demands that a health and safety audit should be conducted throughout all the operations of Arcelor Metal South Africa and that the report must be subjected to public scrutiny.
“We demand that the AMSA CEO Kobus Verster must be held criminally and personally liable for the untimely death of our members which is the direct responsibility of the Accounting authority in terms of the Occasional Health and Safety Act.” Added Hlubi-Majola
She further said they demand that the Department of Employment and Labour must make its report into this incident, public within 14 days of making findings, and, that it must litigate on behalf of the families if necessary.
“We are giving the management 7 days to respond in writing to our demands and for them to make a firm commitment to support the investigation and the inquiry.” Concluded Hlubi-Majola