None of the security guards at a West Rand provincial government clinic has been paid for the past six months, leading to them going on strike.
Jack Bloom, Democratic Alliance shadow MEC on health in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, said the strike had compromised the safety of staff, patients and assets and that the hospital had suffered a number of break-ins.
Medicine and an oxygen trolley had reportedly been stolen. Security guard William Kleinbooi told The Citizen they had been working at the Toekomsrus clinic on the West Rand since the beginning of 2018, but they had only been paid four times.
“We asked [CEO Kerzner Gonolo of Eradicate Security Services supplying the service to the clinic] why he was not paying us and he said it was a delay from the provincial government,” Kleinbooi said. “But we said we don’t care, we want our money because we have families to feed.
“That was when he started with his excuses. He said the government did not pay him – but in the meeting with the regional provincial officers and Eradicate’s CEO last week, it was confirmed that the only money the government did not pay was the salaries meant for November and December.
“Where did the rest of the money go?”
Kleinbooi said the meeting ended with Gonolo signing an affidavit stating he would pay up all their salaries dating six months back by January 11.
“We have to wait and see, but it is not guaranteed. We’ve had promises before” said Kleinbooi.
DA councillor Donovan Cloete said it was a result of alleged mismanagement of funds by the company and he was still investigating the matter.
Bloom said: “I alerted Mac Lukhele, head of the Gauteng health department, to this problem in November, but security companies in the area have still not been paid.
“It is troubling that clinics in the West Rand do not have security guards. I hope that this is resolved as soon as possible.”