5 000 jobless as cops cancel guard services

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The decision by the SAPS to stop outsourcing the guarding of its premises has most likely left about 5 000 security guards nationwide jobless.

The police’s contract with Protea Coin Security ended this past Saturday. Now the private security guards, who were employed at various SAPS sites, face retrenchment.

Some of the guards have told the Pretoria News they now have to join the unemployment queue.

Some of them have been employed for about 10 years, but will now have to look elsewhere for employment.

Sibusiso Sambo, who was a guard at the police headquarters in the CBD, said he had been the breadwinner for his family.

He was also using his salary to pay for his studies. Now he was jobless, and clueless about how he would support his family.

“The decision by the SAPS to stop the contract will affect me in a bad way. We will all now have to look for new jobs.

“We hope the president can intervene because the decision to start using police as security guards at SAPS premises means all of us who were doing that job are unemployed.

“We all know how difficult it is to find a job in South Africa.

‘I was also studying public relations at college, but I’m not sure if I will be able to complete that because I won’t have money to pay the fees.”

Another guard, who is also a shop steward for the United Private Sector Workers Union, Phathutshedzo Monyai, said about 5 000 guards nationwide had been retrenched.

Another contract for cleaning services with the SAPS had not been renewed, but those workers had been employed full-time by the SAPS, he said.

“This created an expectation that the same thing would happen with the security guards, but it was not to be. We hear that the SAPS took this decision to save money, but it has also resulted in a large number of people being jobless,” said Monyai.

Monyai would most likely have to move back home to Venda in Limpopo if he did not find a job soon.

“I used to be able to send money home to support (my family) even though I was earning a basic salary of R2 600. Depending on overtime and night shifts, the money would sometime be just over R3 000.

“But I will have to find something else because I live in town and I need to pay rent. If it does not work out, I will have to go back home.

“Many of our colleagues have already decided they are going back home because they are now unemployed and cannot afford to pay rent here in Pretoria,” he said.

The SAPS confirmed last week that it would take over the security of its premises around the country, using police officers and police reservists as guards.

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Pretoria News

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