angry Guards PIN HOPES ON Zille

OUT OF A JOB: Security guard Songezo Mvamdaba. Pic. Unknown.
OUT OF A JOB: Security guard Songezo Mvamdaba. Pic. Unknown.

WESTERN Cape Premier Helen Zille will tell 173 provincial government security guards tomorrow whether they will still have jobs at the end of this month.

WESTERN Cape Premier Helen Zille will tell 173 provincial government security guards tomorrow whether they will still have jobs at the end of this month.

Zille met representatives of the guards in a meeting at the provincial government on Tuesday.

The guards, who earn R4500 a month guarding provincial government buildings in Cape Town, were told last month that they would be replaced by a private company.

"Our bosses told us we must know the company is paying less and so they are not encouraging us to apply for jobs there," security guard Songezo Mvandaba said.

Western Cape community safety MEC Lennit Max said they were being replaced by a private company that would save the government R4million a year.

Zille told the guards that she would look into their claims that a former community safety deputy director-general - involved in the tender for the new security company - had been suspended for mismanagement.

Security guard Mfusi Zonke asked Zille how it was possible that the tender could go ahead while an official had allegedly been suspended for mismanaging tenders.

"If there is any evidence of corruption I will investigate it to the last degree. I am making one promise - that I will ask questions and get answers," Zille told the guards.

The guards told Sowetan they were pinning their hopes on Zille.

Zonke said they had asked Cosatu and the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union for help, but had received no response. "Cosatu and Nehawu are nowhere to be found," he said.

Mvandaba told Sowetan that his R4500 a month salary supported his wife, four children, his father and two brothers in Eastern Cape.

"I've had sleepless nights since I got the letter that the job was over. I couldn't think of a way to explain this to my wife.

"I ended up just giving her the letter without saying a word."

Mvandaba said he left his job as a dealer in Cape Town's Grand West Casino to work as a security guard because he had believed that government was a stable employer.

"This provincial government is spitting in our faces. After protecting billions, now they throw us away."

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