The Rheinmetall Denel Munition plant in Macassar, near Somerset West. File photo: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)

Weapons manufacturer Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) in Macassar, near Somerset West, resumed ammunition testing at its plant today for the first time since the fatal explosion a week ago.

RDM chief executive Norbert Schulze said the community must not be alarmed should they hear noise emanating from the munition testing, which will be carried out at their dedicated testing site.

He gave the assurance that the sounds are normal and he understands that the community is still traumatised after the incident in which eight workers lost their lives, with heightened fears making them sensitive to any perceived threat to their lives. 

The cause of the explosion still has to be determined by the police, the Labour Department and an independent contractor.

The workers had been part of RDM's propellant blending operation when the explosion occurred last week Monday.

"We are all still mourning a great loss to our community and need to support each other during this time. We are making extra efforts to be inclusive with the community about what’s going on at our site," Schulze said.

Schulze said the company will continue its series of daily updates to the community and to the media, but can only officially release the names of the deceased once the identification process had been concluded and only after consultation with the individual families affected.