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So. Africa: Dept. of Labour shuts down Assmang plant following death of four workers

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25 February 2008

Durban factory workers disrupt explosion inquiry [So. Africa]

Author: South African Broadcasting Corporation News

Workers from the Assmang Ferro-Manganese Smelter [joint venture African Rainbow Minerals, Assore] in Cato Ridge have disrupted the Labour Department's formal inquiry into the exposure of poisonous fumes at the company...The inquiry was due to start today after numerous reported cases of manganese exposure dating as far back as 2005...Meanwhile the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa)...regional secretary, Petros Ngcobo, says...they want an explanation as to why workers were allowed to work in an area that had already been declared unsafe.

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25 February 2008

Durban steel plant closed after fatal explosion [So. Africa]

Author: Edwin Tshivhidzo, Bua News [So. Africa]

The Department of Labour has closed the Assmang plant in Cato Ridge, Durban following the death of four workers in a massive explosion on Sunday...This weekend's accident took place at a time when the plant was under inquiry for exposing workers to poisonous fumes in 2007. [Department spokesperson Zolisa ] Sigabi said the inquiry...seeks to establish [whether there had been any] negligence or flouting of occupational health and safety measures...The Assmang plant is jointly owned by Assore and African Rainbow Minerals.

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