25 June 2019

South Africa: Security Guards Plan Further Protests in Pietermaritzburg

Security guards working for a company contracted to Msunduzi municipality are demanding the reinstatement of more than 350 guards who lost their jobs.

A total of 732 security guards were working for Khuselani Security Agency which had a contract with the municipality. According to Msunduzi municipality spokesperson Ntobe Ngcobo, the contract ended in June and Royal Security took over the work. In the process, 352 guards lost their jobs.

Last Thursday about 200 security guards marched to the city hall, demanding that the guards who had lost their jobs be returned to the sites they had been guarding. Some were carrying sticks and bush knives. They were singing and chanting struggle songs outside the city hall.

Sabelo Mazibuko, who is on the security guards' committee, said the guards would march again next week.

Mazibuko said the new contractor had only taken on 380 security guards from the 732 guards, to work on 300 sites for the Msunduzi municipality.

"We are fighting for our rights. There are colleagues who have been working for the municipality for 10 years and more. We have been asking for clarity since the new company took over. We have been visiting the municipality offices. No one is available to tell us what is going on. We are tired of being taken for granted," said Mazibuko.

Ngcobo said the municipality was very concerned about attacks on personnel guarding its premises. The municipality would apply for an urgent court interdict to prevent the intimidation, harassment and assault on anyone on its premises.

But Mazibuko denied that protesters had attacked security guards who were working.

KwaZulu-Natal Media Centre Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said no case had been opened at the SAPS.

GroundUp's attempts to get comment from Royal Security were unsuccessful.

Security guard Ntokozo Mhlongo, who did not lose his job, said he had been on the march to support his colleagues.

"We will shut down the city. They must return our colleagues to work. Failing that, they must put all the employees under the municipality. We want our problems solved. There are families to feed. No one deserves to be unemployed," said Mhlongo.

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