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CityPress - - Business And Tenders & Auctions -

Mok­gadi Pela, spokesper­son for the labour depart­ment, said La­mati had assem­bled a team, in­clud­ing “highly spe­cialised in­spec­tors”, to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter.

La­mati wanted to deal with the is­sue as “ex­pe­di­tiously as pos­si­ble”, Pela said.

The labour depart­ment would re­lease a pre­lim­i­nary an­nounce­ment once enough work had been done, he said.

“The team is go­ing through all the doc­u­ments to see if any laws were flouted and to en­sure that all agree­ments have been abided by, to the let­ter,” he added.

PPC spokesper­son Siob­han McCarthy con­firmed that of­fi­cials from the de­part­ments of home af­fairs and labour vis­ited the Slurry site on Monday and Tues­day.

“On Monday, the de­part­ments con­ducted an in­spec­tion of the project, in­clud­ing the per­son­nel on site and the ba­sic con­di­tions of em­ploy­ment.

“The depart­ment of home af­fairs con­ducted an au­dit of the pass­ports of all the Chi­nese na­tion­als em­ployed by [Chi­nese com­pany] CBMI Con­struc­tion on the project and con­firmed the va­lid­ity of all the work visas,” she added.

Pela said labour of­fi­cials would be re­turn­ing to the Slurry site to con­duct fur­ther in­spec­tions.

Te­batso Mokoena, NUM’s na­tional con­struc­tion co­or­di­na­tor, said he met with PPC’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions depart­ment on Monday to un­der­stand how the Chi­nese na­tion­als ended up at the Slurry site and what spe­cial skills they had to of­fer.

“On Tues­day, PPC, to­gether with CBMI, held a very fruit­ful and pos­i­tive meet­ing with ... home af­fairs and labour, and re­gional rep­re­sen­ta­tives of NUM,” McCarthy said.

Mokoena con­firmed that NUM’s re­gional shop stew­ards had at­tended the meet­ing.

A key con­cern for NUM was the em­ploy­ment of the Chi­nese na­tion­als and what con­tri­bu­tion PPC would make to the com­mu­nity in terms of its so­cial and labour plan.

Mokoena said that he had heard from PPC that be­tween 30 and 40 peo­ple from the area would be trained in main­tain­ing the SK9 kiln once it was com­pleted.

McCarthy said that, in ad­di­tion, be­tween 10 and 15 em­ploy­ees would travel to China in May to re­ceive train­ing on op­er­at­ing the plant. This would in­clude learn­ing about process de­sign, me­chan­i­cal engi­neer­ing and in­stru­men­ta­tion.

“There­after, they will spend time on two ce­ment plants to get prac­ti­cal train­ing on the man­u­fac­tur­ing process and qual­ity con­trol.”

Fur­ther train­ing would take place on site at Slurry, McCarthy said.

Mokoena said NUM was largely sat­is­fied with the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by PPC, but that the union would be mon­i­tor­ing the fol­low­ing:

That the train­ing of the lo­cal peo­ple hap­pened;

That PPC pro­vided ben­e­fits to the com­mu­nity through its so­cial and labour plan; and

The type of lo­cal em­ploy­ment the SK9 project gen­er­ated – amid very high un­em­ploy­ment in the area.

“While both de­part­ments are yet to pro­vide their fi­nal re­ports on the site visit, the del­e­ga­tion in­di­cated that all their ques­tions re­lat­ing to the project, as well as pro­cesses fol­lowed and ad­her­ence to reg­u­la­tions, had been ad­dressed sat­is­fac­to­rily,” McCarthy said.

TOO EARLY

Pela said it was too early to make a de­ter­mi­na­tion and that PPC could not speak on be­half of the labour depart­ment.

McCarthy said the del­e­ga­tions were pro­vided with the fol­low­ing sup­port­ing doc­u­men­ta­tion:

The project’s re­source plan, as well as the pro­cesses fol­lowed to iden­tify re­source re­quire­ments and to source skills from the lo­cal and broader com­mu­ni­ties;

CBMI’s skills trans­fer pro­gramme on­shore and off­shore; and

The process fol­lowed by CBMI to ap­ply for and se­cure valid in­tra­com­pany work visas for all Chi­nese for­eign na­tion­als as­signed to the SK9 project.

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