Sassa-contracted security guards protest over unpaid salaries

Sassa-contracted security guards protest over unpaid salaries. Picture: Supplied.

Sassa-contracted security guards protest over unpaid salaries. Picture: Supplied.

Published Apr 17, 2024


Unpaid bonuses, uniforms and delays in payment of salaries are some of the complaints laid bare by security guards contracted by the Department of Social Development under Sakhile Ezweni and Black Industrial Africa (BIA).

On Wednesday, security guards under the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa), represented by its affiliated union, the National Security and Unqualified Workers Union (Nasawu), presented their memorial of grievances at the Sassa offices in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

According to Fedusa, some of the issues date back to April 2023 when salaries of the employees were not paid, as well as the stagnant salary rate and salaries not being paid in time.

Speaking to “The Star”, various affected employees, some of them as far as Limpopo, Fochville, Tembisa and other parts of the province, related their struggles in getting their salaries paid on time.

“We are contracted by BIA under the Sakhile Ezweni Group. We have a problem because our salaries for April last year as well as bonuses and overtime pay are not being paid.

“Sometimes we are paid late into the month. We are now deep into debt due to these issues,” said Sbusiso Mlambo from Ennerdale.

Bongiwe Mahlamvu, who is contracted by Sakhile Ezweni, said late payments have become the norm, making it difficult for employees to provide for their families.

“My biggest issue is late payments. Sometimes we do not receive our pay slips. Some of our colleagues are worse off as they sometimes go on for months on end without being paid their salaries.

“They are then forced to borrow money from loan sharks to provide for their families on a daily basis,” she said.

Both Sakhile Ezweni and BIA are contracted by the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) to provide security services at various branches and site across the province.

Last year, the Pension Funds Adjudicator slammed the Private Security Sector Provident Fund (PSSPF) for failing to enforce an earlier ruling to ensure Sakhile Ezweni Group pays employees’ pension contributions on time.

Furthermore, “City Press” reported that despite living a lavish life, businessperson Leeroy Sidambe, the owner of Sakhile Ezweni, allegedly fails to pay the Sassa guards employed by his company on time even though Sassa pays its invoices on time.

The employees were forced to speak out against some of their issues.

Some of the employees have indicated that every time they raise issues, they are threatened with dismissals.

“This has been happening for too long. Some of us have been threatened with dismissals ever time we try to raise these issues. However, we have become tired and no longer care what happens,” one striking employee said.

Addressing the striking workers, representatives from BIA and Sakhile Ezweni, Class Mabua and Victor Motshekga promised to look into the issues raised by the workers.

“We have accepted this memorandum of demands and promise that these will be taken up with the management of the companies and a response be given back to you as per your request in seven days’ time. There is little we can do at the moment but to allow management to come back to you,” Motshekga said.