Outsourced guards accuse Ekurhuleni municipality of failing to pay them

Protesting security employees say non-payments have become a problem since the coalition government took over, but mayor’s office says payments to security companies are up-to-date

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Protesting employees protest outside the municipal premises last week. Photo: Kimberly Mutandiro

The City of Ekurhuleni has failed to keep its promise to pay close to 1,000 security employees working for companies contracted to the City, the Private Sector Workers Union (PSWU) has said.

About 70 workers have been protesting since last week. They are from two companies: Ngodvongodvo Security and Zabalaza Security. The protesters represent 1,000 workers who have not been paid for November and December 2022. Non-payments are becoming more common resulting in workers failing to make ends meet, they said.

Despite receiving a letter from the City on 31 January promising that they would receive payments by 3 February, the workers were back protesting at the offices during the early hours of Monday morning accusing the municipality of not keeping its word.

In November, workers from more than five security companies and from sites across Ekurhuleni, including Germiston, Benoni, Daveyton, Alberton, Heidelberg and Boksburg, protested.

While money was paid out to most of them following the November protest they claim to have experienced more problems in December and January. According to Raymond Tshamano from PSWU, both the municipality and security companies blame each other. The municipality claims not to owe the companies any money, while the companies claim they have not been paid, according to Tshamano.

The late payments started after a coalition government took over the municipality, leaving workers suspicious that this is the cause.

Workers never experienced problems during previous years, Tshamano said. “The coalition should get their house in order.”

Issue has become party-political

The EFF blames the DA, which leads the coalition, for the late payment.

But the mayor’s spokesperson, Warren Gwilt, told GroundUp that the City doesn’t owe the employees because they are not employed directly by the City. Rather that are employed by the security companies. “These security companies were paid, and were asked to address the issue with their employees. There was no non-payment to these security companies.”

“Municipal employees always receive their salaries on time and this will continue. The EFF are politicizing an administrative matter to which they do not have the full facts,” Gwilt said.

We tried to contact both security companies, but could only get hold of one. A representative of the company spoke anonymously to us. He was apparently concerned with how politicised the issue has become. He said the municipality often blame the companies when it pays late.

The protestors have vowed to keep protesting until their money has been paid.

TOPICS:  Labour Local government

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