Council guards to be replaced by metro police
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.