ActionSA Writes to Health MEC for Intervention Amid Salary Crisis

We are disturbed by a video that is currently doing the rounds on social media, where security guards at R.K. Khan Hospital in Chatsworth, Durban, are seen being rounded up on a road outside the hospital by a group of South African Police Service (SAPS) members.

It is understood that the group of security guards laid down their tools of trade due to unpaid salaries in the month of June.

However, what is most disturbing is that instead of the security company in question and the hospital coming together to de-escalate the situation, it is alleged that the hospital has outsourced a different company to take over, and those who are employed by the previous company have found themselves jobless.

The same security company that has failed to pay salaries for their employees at R.K. Khan Hospital, has also failed to pay salaries for their employees who are outsourced by General Justice Gozenga Mpanza Regional Hospital in Stanger.

Security personnel at the Stanger Hospital have also downed tools, demanding that they be paid their salaries which are duly owed to them.

Unfortunately, we have seen such situations unfold in many parts of the country, and the persistent exploitation of our people by security companies has become common practise, with security guards earning as little as R21 per hour.

Therefore, we are writing to the MEC for Health, Ms Nomagugu Simelane, and her Head of Department, Dr Sandile Tshabalala, seeking immediate action and intervention in this regard.

Specifically, that there be measures put in place to prevent the exploitation of their workers, which ultimately results in the disturbance of workflow in government entities. It is critical in this case, where lifesaving work needs to be performed unencumbered by security breaches.

I have made an appointment for this coming Wednesday, 12 July 2023, to meet with the security guards who have been laid off and will also engage with the newly appointed company to absorb those who are now jobless, in an effort to save jobs.

To avoid such problems going forward, we believe that it is high time that the provincial government begins the conversation with all government departments and municipalities and begins the process of insourcing all security personnel, and we will be exploring ways in which we can ensure that this issue is prioritised.