Tshwane tries to get process of hiring security guards back on track
THE long-overdue process of insourcing security guards working for private companies contracted to the City of Tshwane was hampered by the outbreak of Covid-19.
This is according to acting city manager Masabata Mutlaneng, who told the Pretoria News that efforts were being made to get the process back on track.
On Monday night, Mutlaneng received a report that the municipality was finalising the hiring of 500 candidates as part of the first phase of insourcing.
“I was having an executive committee meeting and they (senior managers) promised me a report towards the end of this month where they would have completed the process involving the first 500. We would then appoint the first 500, and when that process is complete we will go into the second phase,” she said.
According to her, insourcing of the security guards was meant to have been implemented over a 3-year period. The initial plan was to employ a minimum of about 1 500 guards every year.
“The first phase was undertaken before we went into lockdown where plus-minus 500 candidates were interviewed and just going through the recruitment process,” Mutlaneng said.
At the time President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the imposition of a lockdown in March, the City was taking candidates through a security clearance, she said.
“We were affected by Covid-19 and that process was not completed. We are hoping that in this current financial year we should be able to finalise the first phase of the insourcing.”
The plan is based on the resolution of a dissolved council which was replaced by a team of administrators in March.
Council wanted the City to abolish the hiring of private security companies and employ 4 000 guards in house in a new directorate called the Asset Protection Unit, under the auspices of the Tshwane metro police department.
Mutlaneng believed that the guards would play a vital role in the city, such as preventing land invasions and protecting other City assets vulnerable to crime.
“This year has not been the easiest year. We have seen with Covid-19 that there has been reduced revenue collection. However, what we have been trying to do is to re-prioritise internally on various issues that affect us,” Mutlaneng said.
In May the outsourced security guards threatened to defy the lockdown rules and protest to pressure the administrators to speed up their permanent employment.
However, they seemed to have backed down on their call as they never came together to execute their threats. Security guard spokesperson Isaac Sibanda said they were still waiting to hear about the latest development from the municipality.