guards are exploited

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Scores of security industry bosses in KwaZulu-Natal have been short-changing their employees of more than R1,3 million in outstanding wages since last year.

Labour Department inspectors visiting employers in the province have charged 47 companies for flouting the law that prescribes a minimum wage in the security sector and ordered them to pay the outstanding wages.

Spokesman for the department, Zolisa Sigabi, said that since October last year, the security sector task team of Durban's labour centre has solved almost 62percent of the 2432 complaints lodged by employees and unions for underpayment of wages, non-payment of leave pay, bonuses, pay for work on Sundays and public holidays, and illegal deductions for uniforms.

Sigabi said that in some cases it was found that penalties from clients for inferior security services being rendered were illegally deducted from the wages of security officers by employers.

"Topping the list of violators in the sector for non-payment of leave and bonuses is Isidingo Security, which owes its employees more than R409000, followed by Noluvo Security that owes R306309, while Indlondlo Security has defaulted by R248755," said Sigabi.

She said the task team was established to focus directly on the sector because of the high level of non-compliance, and has already intensified inspections at companies operating in Durban, Umhlanga, La Lucia, Newlands, KwaMashu, Westville, Malvern, Lamontville, Merebank and Bluff.

"Lack of cooperation from employers, obstruction of labour inspectors from conducting inspections, as well as ignoring subpoenas has prompted the referral of compliance orders to the labour court. The department awaits trial dates for all the cases referred," Sigabi said.

The department has urged all businesses and clients of security companies to check whether security companies adhere to labour legislation when tenders are awarded.

The minimum monthly wage for security officers as prescribed in the Sectoral Determination for the Security Sector of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act are: Grade A (R2991), Grade B (R2544) Grade C (R2020), Grade D (R1851), and Grade E (R1758).