Coun­cil guards to be re­placed by metro po­lice

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - RAPULA MOAT­SHE

MORE than 3000 se­cu­rity guards work­ing in the City of Tsh­wane have been left dis­il­lu­sioned by news that they may be out of work by the end of the month.

The move fol­lowed a de­ci­sion by the coun­cil to re­place them with Tsh­wane metro po­lice depart­ment of­fi­cers.

It is be­lieved that the metro po­lice depart­ment in­tends to use some of the 1924 new re­cruits cur­rently on pro­ba­tion to pro­vide se­cu­rity work. The of­fi­cers grad­u­ated in De­cem­ber 2015.

How­ever, it has been learnt that the of­fi­cers would first need to be tem­po­rar­ily de­ployed to pro­tect mu­nic­i­pal prop­erty un­til the coun­cil had sorted out se­cu­rity chal­lenges.

The chal­lenge is that the metro po­lice mem­bers in ques­tion have not yet been ap­pointed to work full­time shifts.

“What needs to hap­pen is that they must first ap­point them as fully fledged metro po­lice mem­bers; but right now 1 924 of them are still on pro­ba­tion,” said a metro po­lice in­sider.

The af­fected guards were work­ing un­der var­i­ous pri­vate se­cu­rity com­pa­nies and pro­vide se­cu­rity ser­vices to var­i­ous prop­er­ties within the city.

And they have learnt that they were on the brink of los­ing their jobs fol­low­ing the city’s de­ci­sion not to re­new the con­tracts of se­cu­rity com­pa­nies due to a short­age of money and plans to bring metro po­lice of­fi­cers into se­cu­rity work.

Dis­grun­tled work­ers said they would el­e­vate their griev­ances dur­ing a march to Tsh­wane House next week.

Their spokesper­son Isaac Sibanda said they would march from Princess Park in Pre­to­ria West to the mu­nic­i­pal head­quar­ters at the cor­ner of Lil­ian Ngoyi and Madiba streets, where they would hand a mem­o­ran­dum of their de­mands over to the city.

“The mem­o­ran­dum will be handed over to the city man­ager, and the pur­pose of the march is to re­quest per­ma­nent jobs in the Tsh­wane mu­nic­i­pal­ity,” Sibanda said.

He said work­ers would also seek clar­ity on the fu­ture of se­cu­rity com­pa­nies in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

The se­cu­rity per­son­nel said they were frus­trated be­cause they had not seen any for­mal com­mu­niqué from the coun­cil in­form­ing them about the im­mi­nent changes, Sibanda said.

“We have started mo­bil­is­ing to march to Tsh­wane House,” he said.

One of the con­trac­tors, who de­clined to be named, claimed some of the se­cu­rity com­pa­nies had gone for three months with­out get­ting pay­ments for ser­vices ren­dered to the coun­cil.

As a re­sult, the com­pa­nies failed to pay the monthly salaries of the guards, he said.

“We have not re­ceived any com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the city to date. In my case, the city owes me al­most R7 mil­lion for the past three months.

“They gave let­ters to com­pa­nies that their con­tract would end at the end of June. Ru­mours are that they want to post the metro po­lice of­fi­cers into our posts,” a con­trac­tor said.

MMC for com­mu­nity safety Der­rick Kis­soon­duth con­firmed that the three-year con­tracts of se­cu­rity com­pa­nies would ex­pire on June 30.

He said the city would look into ex­tend­ing the con­tracts of se­cu­rity com­pa­nies on a month-to-month ba­sis, but it was up to city man­ager Moeketsi Mosola to de­cide the way for­ward.

“We are try­ing to get the metro po­lice to as­sist with the ser­vices,” he said.

Mu­nic­i­pal spokesper­son Selby Bok­aba re­ferred ques­tions re­lated to the up­com­ing march and non-pay­ments to metro po­lice spokesper­son Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent Isaac Ma­hamba, who could not be reached for com­ment.

TEM­PO­RARY DE­PLOY­MENT: Tsh­wane metro po­lice depart­ment of­fi­cers dur­ing a pa­rade in At­teridgeville.

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