Over 1 000 security guards set to march in Pretoria

Professor Boitumelo Senokoane reveals plans for a march by security guards, scheduled for Pretoria on Tuesday. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

MORE than 1000 security guards are expected to march on Tuesday against exploitation, poor working conditions and unlawful deductions from salaries.

The security guards, affiliated to the Academic and Professional Staff Association, will also come from places such as Bronkhorstspruit and Joburg. They will march to the Union Buildings to deliver a memorandum.

The association’s secretary-general, Professor Boitumelo Seno- koane, said they had more than 4000 members in both the private and public sector in the city, including the municipality as well as universities and colleges.

He said it was about time the demands and plight of vulnerable security guards were heard by private security companies, the City of Tshwane, tertiary institutions, the Department of Higher Education and the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (Psira).

“South Africa has more security guards than it has police officers, but almost all security guards are exploited, abused and victimised by security company bosses. They work under dangerous conditions and most without weapons to defend themselves but they are expected to safeguard areas,” he said.

The crowd, with metro police in watch, will make stops at the Tshwane North College, Psira, the Department of Higher Education, the Union Buildings and Tshwane House.

“Female security officers are not provided with resources to protect themselves in the workplace, but they are made to work alone at night to safeguard premises. In fact, we are dealing with a case of a female security officer who was raped while on duty,” Senokoane said.

The organisation said problems and challenges persisted only because there was insufficient regulation and intervention from Psira.

The union said the memorandum to be handed to mayor Solly Msimanga was the second, and this time they would give him seven days to respond.

“We want tertiary institutions to stop outsourcing security guards and move to insourcing. We hope the municipality will do the same thing because Joburg has made a decision to absorb approximately 4000 of its security guards,” Senokoane said.

He claimed security guards received meagre salaries, some as little as R1 500, and exploitation was so severe that no security guard owned property except for RDP houses or through land grabs.

Senokoane said the union was determined to deliver a good progress report for 2018 to its members, and would do anything to influence positive change, including calling all its members to shut down the city and stop services.