Security guards protest outside Durban hospital, demanding their jobs back

Their contracts were not renewed after they participated in an unprotected strike last year

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These former security guards picketed outside the R.K. Khan Hospital in Chatsworth, Durban on Wednesday to demand their jobs back. Photo: Tsoanelo Sefoloko

More than 50 former security guards picketed outside the R.K. Khan Hospital in Chatsworth, Durban on Wednesday to demand their jobs back.

The guards lost their jobs after participating in an unprotected strike last year. They are among 174 workers that were employed by Mafoko Security to guard R.K. Khan Hospital, Stanger Provincial Hospital and Murchison Hospital.

The workers went on strike after their June 2023 salaries were not paid. They were told that Mafoko’s contract with the hospital had not been renewed. The company had a month-to-month contract agreement with the provincial health department.

Many of them were then hired by the new company that took over the contract at the hospital called Calvin and Family security company. However, on 6 May many of the workers were informed that their contracts would not be renewed at the end of May.

On Wednesday the workers told GroundUp that they went on strike after the company ended their contracts. They said their attempts to get satisfactory answers were futile.

The workers said that they have been waiting for the company to address them, but they are worried because another company is already working in their place.

Former security guard Busisiwe Lushaba said she is worried how she will pay her rent this month. “We always come to the hospital so that our boss can address us. If he decides that he doesn’t need us in his company then he must tell us,” said Lashaba.

The owner of the new company, Calvin and Family security company, Calvin Mathibeli, said he has signed a three-year contract with the department.

“The contract I have signed is between me and the department. I cannot be told by anyone to hire. Some of those guards picketing do not have proper documents,” said Mathibeli.

Spokesperson for the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, Ntokozo Maphisa declined to comment, saying “The Department does not comment on matters that are between service providers and their employees.”

TOPICS:  Labour

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