SCRU­TINY

In­spec­tions, meet­ings mark ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion by home af­fairs and labour, as well as NUM

CityPress - - Business And Tenders & Auctions - JUSTIN BROWN justin.brown@city­press.co.za

The state’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into how 242 Chi­nese na­tion­als ob­tained per­mis­sion to work and live at a North West plant owned by ce­ment gi­ant PPC is set to ramp up this week when the di­rec­tors-gen­eral of home af­fairs and labour make an­other joint in­spec­tion of the site. Mkuseli Apleni, direc­tor-gen­eral of the depart­ment of home af­fairs, and Tho­bile La­mati, his coun­ter­part at the labour depart­ment, are plan­ning their visit to PPC’s Slurry plant, a source close to both de­part­ments said on Fri­day.

This week, of­fi­cials from the two na­tional de­part­ments, as well as rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the Na­tional Union of Minework­ers (NUM), met with PPC man­agers as part of their probe into the pres­ence of the Chi­nese work­ers.

May­ihlome Tsh­wete, spokesper­son for the home af­fairs depart­ment, said the ver­i­fi­ca­tion process it had un­der­taken was well un­der way.

Of­fi­cials had met with PPC rep­re­sen­ta­tives and went on site to the Slurry plant, he con­firmed.

Tsh­wete said the ce­ment gi­ant had given his depart­ment doc­u­ments re­lated to the Chi­nese em­ploy­ees.

“PPC did not give us all the in­for­ma­tion [we re­quired], but has un­der­taken to give us fur­ther in­for­ma­tion,” he added.

Once the in­ves­ti­ga­tion had been com­pleted, a re­port would be sub­mit­ted by the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cials, he said.

SPE­CIALISED IN­SPEC­TORS

“A fur­ther meet­ing was held with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of NUM’s na­tional of­fice on Thurs­day,” McCarthy said.

Mokoena con­firmed this, adding that PPC of­fi­cials shared de­tails of the SK9 project, val­ued at a to­tal of R1.7 bil­lion, with NUM and ex­plained the ex­tent to which lo­cal work­ers were in­volved.

The com­pany also pro­vided ac­cess to the visas and other doc­u­ments that led to the lo­cal em­ploy­ment of the Chi­nese work­ers, Mokoena said.

PPC of­fi­cials told the union that they needed peo­ple with skills re­lated to han­dling the “spe­cific ma­te­rial” which CBMI used in the con­struc­tion of a ce­ment kiln, he added.

When asked about the ma­te­rial CBMI used that could only be han­dled by Chi­nese work­ers, Mokoena ap­peared un­cer­tain.

KEY CON­CERN

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