Guards an­gry at EFF as city fails to re­new con­tracts

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - RAPULA MOATSHE

THE fight by se­cu­rity guards con­tracted to the City of Tsh­wane took an­other turn yes­ter­day when they marched to the EFF of­fices in Pre­to­rius Street, ac­cus­ing the party lead­ers of be­ing sell-outs.

The stick-wield­ing guards em­barked on the march af­ter re­ceiv­ing news that their de­mands to be em­ployed per­ma­nently by the City of Tsh­wane had been turned down.

Demon­stra­tors were part of more than 3 000 se­cu­rity guards whose jobs were on the line as a re­sult of the ter­mi­na­tion of con­tracts of pri­vate se­cu­rity com­pa­nies for which they worked.

Last week, the guards sub­mit­ted a mem­o­ran­dum of griev­ances to city man­ager Moeketsi Mosola, giv­ing him a three-day ul­ti­ma­tum to ad­dress their de­mands and ob­jected to the city’s move to re­place them with metro po­lice of­fi­cers.

Mosola re­sponded in writ­ing, telling them the city was not in a po­si­tion to hire them. In a let­ter to the guards’ rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Mosola in­formed them the ser­vices of their em­ploy­ers were pro­cured in terms of the sup­ply-chain man­age­ment pol­icy and pro­cesses of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“Once the term of the con­tract or ten­der comes to an end, the con­trac­tor leaves with its em­ploy­ees and equip­ment,” Mosola wrote in the let­ter.

He added it was un­for­tu­nate that the city “can­not ac­com­mo­date you in its ranks, as it will be util­is­ing its al­ter­na­tive meth­ods of pro­vid­ing this ser­vice”.

Ear­lier, the se­cu­rity guards em­barked on a picket out­side Tsh­wane House.

They chanted slo­gans de­nounc­ing the DA-led ad­min­is­tra­tion un­der mayor Solly Msi­manga.

Msi­manga was un­avail­able and MMC for Com­mu­nity Safety Der­rick Kis­soon­duth came out with the in­ten­tion to ad­dress them. But he soon went back with­out speak­ing to them, claim­ing he was not man­dated to ad­dress the guards.

The guards ini­tially re­fused to leave the city’s head­quar­ters un­til they were ad­dressed by Msi­manga, but they sub­se­quently left.

Their leader, Isaac Sibanda, said work­ers marched to the mu­nic­i­pal of­fices af­ter Mosola re­fused to re­new the con­tracts of the pri­vate se­cu­rity com­pa­nies.

On their way to the EFF of­fices, the guards in­tim­i­dated their fel­low se­cu­rity of­fi­cers who were on duty at other mu­nic­i­pal build­ings in the city.

Out­side the EFF of­fices, they con­tin­ued to sing Strug­gle songs and de­manded to know why the party lead­ers had failed to in­flu­ence the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to not ter­mi­nate their em­ploy­ers’ con­tracts.

They com­plained that the EFF lead­ers had let them down by al­low­ing the “white DA” to de­cide their fate.

EFF leader in the city, Obak­eng Ram­a­bodu, re­futed claims that the party had sold them out, say­ing the guards should not be used by op­por­tunists want­ing to hi­jack their gen­uine con­cerns.

“We are not go­ing to sell you out. We know our con­stituency. Al­low us to lead and judge us while we fail.

“You are not fight­ing with us. This is­sue has even reached the ears of the com­man­der-in-chief (Julius Malema),” he told the guards.

PIC­TURE: BON­GANI SHILUBANE

‘SELL-OUTS’: Se­cu­rity guards con­tracted to Tsh­wane de­manded their jobs back and slated the EFF for not in­ter­ven­ing.

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