Support the City of Tshwane security guards
By Shaun Arendse, Tshwane WASP
On 12 September hundreds of outsourced security workers on contract to the City of Tshwane marched to Tshwane House. They are only asking that the DA-led municipality saves their jobs and the livelihoods of their families. More than 3,000 security guards across 27 outsourcing contractors face retrenchment at the end of September.
Unfortunately, nobody in authority is doing anything to support the workers. In fact it is the complete opposite – at every turn they are met with frustrations.
The police refused to grant ‘permission’ for the 12 September march. Even on the day of the march the police collected all the names of the workers’ leaders as an intimidation tactic before going on the loud speaker to announce that the march was “an illegal gathering”.
When the march arrived at Tshwane House workers’ leaders were able to confirm that DA mayor Solly Msimanga was inside. However, he refused to come and meet the workers because “they did not have an appointment”. Workers have been asking for a meeting for more than three months – the truth is that Msimanga refuses to give them one.
Not one single councillor from one single party was interested to come outside and address the workers and discuss how they could help. There are 202 councillors in Tshwane. It would only take two of them (a ‘proposer’ and a ‘seconder’) to put a motion before the council at least forcing a debate on how jobs could be saved. All of the workers and their family members are Tshwane residents – are the councillors not there to represent the interests of their constituents?
This very month #OutsourcingMustFall won an important victory at the passenger rail company PRASA. An agreement was made whereby workers facing retrenchment due to contracts ending would be absorbed by the new contractors. This was made part of the condition for the new contractors to be awarded the contract. It is possible to save jobs!
This only proves that it is a political choice by the Tshwane administration and the parties that sit in the council, to abandon these workers. WASP believes that the workers must step up the pressure on all of the political parties in Tshwane and demand a deal like the one that was one from PRASA.
The struggle must continue!