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joburgcityThe Star reports that security companies set to lose millions of rand in business from the City of Joburg have vowed to challenge the metro’s decision to insource the service.

The legal threat comes after the metro last week announced plans to hire 4 000 privately employed security guards stationed at its various properties.

Currently, the City said, it outsourced security services through over 150 contracts. On average Joburg paid R14 000 per guard. The City claimed that despite this, firms paid the guards salaries of about R4 500 per month.

Jones Maphalaphathwa, the deputy president of the Association of African Private Security Owners of SA, said the organisation objected to the move and accused the City of politicising the matter. “We are objecting to this. We are intending to write to the City to try to see if we can meet with them and convince thm against this decision. It is going to have a serious impact on our industry,” he said.

The organisation bemoaned that there had been no consultation with the stakeholders in this regard prior to Joburg announcing its decision.

“We have our Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) and we have not heard anything (consultation) of sort,” he said.

City spokesperson Luyanda Mfeka said the metro was not willing to respond to an organisation that did it not have any relations with.

“I can’t comment because I don’t know who they are if they even do business with the city,” he said. However, he said, Joburg was determined to proceed with its plans and would individually consult the affected security companies.

Joburg MMC for safety Michael Sun said he had been made aware of the security companies’ concerns but said the city was open to discussions.

“We are obviously still in the process of designing the project and not yet implementing it. So we have not formally gone to any role-player in the industry,” he said.

Maphalaphathwa, however, said most security companies were in the industry because it was the “most accessible”.

“In terms of participation in the economy you will see that we are highly participative,” he said. “We have employed a lot of people.”

According to the organisation, the city’s option of permanently employing the guards was more expensive than outsourcing the service. He said the organisation was willing to fight the decision in court.

“This is just a political issue with the DA trying to prove to everyone that they can do as they wish. As the majority of employers in the industry we are against it. We will challenge it. We are even willing to go to court. Yes, they have a right,” he said.

Maphalaphathwa disputed the notion that the companies poorly paid guards said this was difficult to get away with as the industry was heavily regulated.

“Yes, the amount could be that it’s R14 000 but that amount is not for one person. From the R14 000 you have the person (guard) and a reliever, you have your leave pay, you have bonuses and a number of other things that they are not telling you about. It is not like the R14 000 is going to the company… what comes to the company from that amount… is about R700 or R1 000,” he claimed.

He said the prices were determined and regulated by PSIRA.

“You will see that everything is listed on how we should be complying how we should be charging the client,” he said.

He also accused government departments and municipalities of paying security firms late.

“They don’t pay us in time and it becomes a challenge to us companies to pay employees.”

This report by Sihle Manda appeared on page 5 of The Star of 13 February 2018

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