Western Cape Premier Helen Zille was part of a meeting with company officials on Thursday and expressed her condolences to the bereaved, who also had a closed meeting at Denel for a detailed update on the incident. Photo: Facebook

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille met the families on Thursday of those workers who died in the explosion at Rheinmetall Denel Munition in Macassar, near Somerset West.

She was part of a meeting with company officials and expressed her condolences to the bereaved, who also had a closed meeting at Denel for a detailed update on Monday's incident, the SABC reported. 

The DNA of family members had to be used to identify the remains of the eight deceased: Jamie Haydricks, 24; Bradley Tandy, 18; Steve Isaacs; Triston Davids; Nico Samuels, 41; Jason Hartzenberg, 21; Mxolisi Sigadla, 40; and Thando Mankayi, 25. 

A memorial service will be held in Macassar tonight in honour of those who died and to offer prayers and support for grieving families. 

"There are still unanswered questions for them as well and they are doing a full investigation because they have every interest in knowing why this happened. I did interact with the family and they are absolutely devastated. 

"Their loved ones go to work on a normal shift and never came back. You can imagine how the families are feeling and its very hard to know what to say to people in that condition. "

Gwen Haydricksmother of the 24-year-old Jamie, said she saw on Facebook that there had been a blast at the munitions company and desperately tried to get hold of her child, Netwerk24 reported. 

"Jamie was so excited about his job. We spoke on Sunday and he said he was looking forward to going to work."

Rheinmetall Denel Munition said the product involved in the explosion was an ignition propellant consisting of more than 95 percent Nitrocellulose, commonly known as Guncotton. 

Cosatu will be speaking at the memorial service of the eight workers who died, which starts at 7pm.

"Cosatu will be raising their long-standing concerns about the company safety standards that have led to threats to the community and the workers' safety from ongoing accidents," it said. 

"The company must take responsibility for employing untrained labour brokers, which most likely led to the accidents, which should lead to the management being charged with culpable homicide for the deaths of the workers.

"This is a high-risk area and the workers must be trained to the highest standards, which cannot be achieved by labour brokers who are just bloodsuckers, Cosatu demands that all workers must immediately be made permanent and given full training for the job.

The venue for the memorial service is St Joseph the Worker Anglican Church, Marvin Park, Macassar.