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