Security guards demand municipal jobs

Guards march in Port Elizabeth

Photo of marching security guards

Security guards marched in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday, demanding jobs at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. Photo: Thamsanqa Mbovane

By Thamsanqa Mbovane

10 April 2019

About 200 unemployed security guards in Nelson Mandela Bay protested outside the Port Elizabeth City Hall on Wednesday afternoon, demanding that the municipality give them jobs “as they promised”.

The singing guards demanded answers within seven days and carried placards saying: “Ndityiwe yingqele (I’m getting cold), “Siqesheni nathi” (Employ us as well) and “Asizoniyeka” (We won’t give up).

The security guards said that since the municipality had ended its contract with two private security companies, Fidelity and Metro, jobs had been scarce.

Security guard Khethukuthula Ntshinga said he had served the municipality through a contract with a private company. In the past two years, he said, 672 security guards had been taken onto the municipal staff from private companies, instead of a promised 1,000.

“We also want to be insourced,” he said.

Security guards protected municipal buildings, cemeteries, and houses of ward councillors and guarded against municipal cable theft at sub-stations, he said. “We must all be considered for employment by the municipality.”

Security guard Zibele Sabisa, who led the protest, said guards were in their fourth month of waiting to be insourced.

Petitions Manager Thembekile Mgwanza promised to hand over the petition to a “petitions committee”.

Municipal spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki said only security guards working on municipal sites were being insourced. “If people were working at other sites that might have municipal offices, that does not qualify them for insourcing into the system. That’s how it works. “