A file picture of security guards demonstrating outside Tshwane House demanding to be hired without being subjected to interviews. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - At last, there is light at the end of the tunnel for 3000 outsourced security guards, who have been fighting for two years to be employed permanently by the City of Tshwane.

This came after the City advertised vacancies for a new in-house security directorate called the Asset Protection Unit within the Tshwane Metro Police Department.

For months the guards were uncertain about their future after the City announced its intention to terminate contracts of private security companies, under which they worked.

The guards and some civil rights organisations reacted with anger to the announcement, embarking on protests through which they demanded to have permanent employment.

Their stance was aimed at putting pressure on the City to protect jobs, resulting in the former mayor Solly Msimanga acceding to their demands.

Spokesperson for the security guards, Isaac Sibanda said, although they were still waiting with bated breath, they were happy that eventually the posts had been advertised.

"The posts were advertised in October. We submitted our job applications. So far we are still waiting for a shortlisting process to be concluded," he said.

He said the City gave the guards its word that it would hire at least 1500 security guards during the first phase of insourcing.

As far as he knew the shortlisting process was under way and he hoped it would be finalised by March next year.

"We are crossing our fingers that in January or February the City would give us a positive feedback," he said.

MMC for Community Safety Karen Meyer confirmed that the positions were advertised, but could not dwell on details regarding the shortlisting process.

"I know that the positions have been advertised, but further than that I can't give feedback," she said.

In August last year, council resolved to implement the insourcing of guards and abolish the hiring of private security companies.

Meyer said in May that the City intended to hire 4000 in-house security guards, adding that the process would be implemented by the end of the year.

During one of the protests in October, the guards demanded to be given a first preference for the jobs.

Then mayor Stevens Mokgalapa assured them that any guard with experience working for the municipality would receive first preference.

Workers had also demanded that the posts must not be advertised, but the City refused to succumb to such pressure.

Pretoria News