South Africa: Security Guards On Strike in Mpumalanga After Province Fails to Pay

23 January 2020

Thousands of workers rendering security services to Mpumalanga's government departments went on strike on Wednesday.

The workers are members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU). Zanele Sabela, SATAWU media officer, said 3,000 workers were on strike. "They have not been paid their December wages".

In total, there are 15 security companies -including V&M Security, Blue Lion Security, and PMD Security - contracted by the Mpumalanga Community Safety, Security and Liaison Department.

Sabela showed GroundUp a letter from the department warning employers that "due to financial constraints in the Department, invoices for December 2019, January and February 2020 ... will only be paid in April 2020".

That effectively means workers will not be paid until April," said Sabela.

She said this happened every year and it was possibly the result of the department not budgeting correctly or misusing funds.

"SATAWU has declared a dispute with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) because employers' failure to remunerate workers on the designated date amounts to a unilateral change of conditions of employment," said Sabela.

On Sunday, the union issued employers with a 48 hours strike notice.

Department spokesperson Moeti Mmusi could not be reached for comment after repeated attempts.

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