Department of Labour concludes investigation into RDM blast


The Department of Labour has concluded its investigation into a blast at Rheinmetall Denel Munition’s Somerset West facility in September 2018, but it is not clear when the report will be released.

David Esau, Western Cape provincial inspector told the Cape Argus that the Department’s investigation has been completed and submitted to the national inspector who will decide on whether prosecution will take place or not.

Rheinmetall Denel Munition also launched its own investigation into the explosion, which killed eight workers. RDM CEO Norbert Schulze said the company is still awaiting the outcome of the investigations by the Department of Labour and the South African Police Service (SAPS) whilst Rheinmetall Denel Munition’s own investigation is still ongoing.

In March Schulze said the cause of the blast had not been determined and due to the intensity of the blast, not much evidence was left behind.

RDM had hoped to have operations at its Somerset West facility running normally by mid-year, with other buildings being used to make up the shortfall created by the destruction of buildings – the propellant operations building was completely destroyed in the blast on 3 September. New buildings are expected to be operational around 2021.

RDM has said the Somerset West explosion has not had any major impact on production and delivery times.