News / South Africa

Virginia Keppler
2 minute read
18 Jul 2017
5:20 am

Security guard union calls Msimanga a ‘boy, a coward and a liar’

Virginia Keppler

Giwusa warned if the mayor does not give in to their demand to sit down with leaders, they will disrupt municipal and licence centres.

Security workers protest outside Tshwane House demanding permanent contracts and for outsourcing to fall, 17 July 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

About 300 protesting security personnel, who marched to Tshwane House in the Pretoria city centre, called Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga a “coward” and a “liar” and warned to disrupt municipal offices and licence centres if the mayor does not give in to their demands to sit down and discuss options of how the city can absorb 3 000 security workers.

The protesters said the mayor should end all contracts with 27 private security companies to save money and come to a round table discussion on how the personnel can co-work with the Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) in guarding the city’s properties.

The city earlier announced it could not continue paying more than R200 million a year to the existing security companies when there are other, more affordable, options at its disposal, such as an additional 1 187 TMPD officers.

However, workers yesterday demanded the city do away with private security companies and instead absorb the 3 000 workers directly into the City of Tshwane. General Industries Workers Union of SA official Themba Ncalo warned if the mayor does not give in to their demand to sit down with leaders, they will disrupt municipal and licence centres.

“The struggle of security guards must be escalated in a way that Solly Msimanga will listen to us. Solly Msimanga is just a boy and we won’t beg him,” Ncalo said.

He also warned workers that there will be casualties.

“Some of us are going to get hurt along the way, but that is the price we must pay. We will uproot all security guards from the townships to the city centres,” Ncalo said.

Isaac Ngwenya, a security guard, said they had tried since September last year to get an appointment with the mayor.

He said Msimanga said security companies are sponsoring their protest action, which is a lie.

“The mayor is lying. The mayor is a coward, because he speaks to the newspapers, but not to us,” Ngwenya said.

Msimanga said the city cannot afford to absorb every contract worker. He said claims that the city refuses to absorb employees are simply not true as evidenced by the absorption of employees from several groups, which includes meter readers and said security personnel will have access to these opportunities.

Msimanga said of the R210 million budgeted in the 2017-18 financial year, R110 million will be used to create employment in the places where it is most needed.

He said the city has job creation capacity through expanded public works programmes and the infrastructure development and aims to create 23 000 work opportunities in the foreseeable future. –