News / South Africa

Virginia Keppler
1 minute read
28 Nov 2017
5:00 am

Security company shown the door

Virginia Keppler

Health department appoints new service providers as strikers vow to stick to guns.

. Security workers amid the debris after a protest outside the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria yesterday. The security guards were protesting the non or partial payment of salaries this month by Born to Protect, the company that employs them. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The Gauteng department of health has cancelled its contract with security company Born to Protect with immediate effect after hundreds of security personnel yesterday burned tyres and blocked all roads leading to the entrance at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.

Mahlomola Ledwaba, a trade union representative from the Academic Protection Staff Association (Apsa), said staff are unhappy with Born to Protect, claiming they did not pay even half of the salaries of more than 250 employees and only paid about 15 people half their salaries on November 15.

The staff have been on strike since October 15. They tried to contact the company to air their grievances, but the gates were locked at their Pretoria office and there was no one present.

Yesterday morning, protesters blocked all motor vehicles from entering the hospital grounds and only allowed people to walk in.

Acting CEO of Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Doctor Mathabo Mathebula, slammed the conduct of the protesters.

“It is unacceptable and we can’t allow service disruption that compromises the safety of patients and employees,” she said.

She also called on Born to Protect to urgently deal with their employees’ concerns and to ensure security services at the hospital are restored to normalcy. However, the protesters said they will stick to their guns until the matter is resolved.

“We are not going to surrender. We want the hospital management to terminate the contract of Born to Protect. They must employ the staff permanently and pay them no less than R10 000 per month,” Ledwaba said.

Vhemba Security Services have been appointed with immediate effect.

– virginiak@citizen.co.za

Just nine of Steve Biko hospital’s 28 lifts work