Security guards demand employment from PE municipality

Guards march to City Hall

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Photo of protesters
Unemployed security guards protested in Port Elizabeth on Thursday demanding to be insourced by the municipality. Photo: Thamsanqa Mbovane

About 200 unemployed security guards marched to the Port Elizabeth city hall on Thursday. They sang protest songs ahead of a lengthy council meeting scheduled for 2pm at the nearby council chambers in Military Road.

The protesters were demanding that the municipality approve the recruitment of over 550 unemployed guards.

Zibele Sabisa, leader of the protesters, said: “We have seen 672 guards being recruited [by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality], while they left 562 jobless … Those [recruited] guards are forced to guard other sites through overtime.”

“We also want to be insourced. We will sing until they feel the pressure, outside their council meeting.”

Whistling and clapping hands, the protesters sang Asinamali (We don’t have money) and Lent’uyenza kum, ayilunganga (What you’re doing to me, is not right).

Sabisa urged the protesters to hide their political party T-shirts. “We don’t want to look as if there’s a conflict of interest. They must know we don’t represent a certain political party.”

Fellow committee member Nolubabalo Mantyi said she has been unemployed since January. “Our funeral policy covers have lapsed. Some of us are breadwinners, but when we die, we will have no one to bury us. We have debts and the furniture shops keep reminding us to pay … We want to be insourced by 1 July,” said Mantyi.

Mayco Member for Corporate Services Makhi Feni said the security guard issue was on the council’s agenda. “The insourcing was passed by council long ago and the onus is now with officials to implement the resolution.”

The insourcing of security guards was a 2017 motion of the EFF, which council passed on 4 December 2018.

Municipal spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki said that only security guards who had worked on municipal sites had been employed. “Those who didn’t qualify for insourcing into the system used to guard buildings that were rented by the municipality … Unfortunately, those who did not guard municipal buildings were not recruited.”

TOPICS:  Unemployment

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