A number of security guards at Mankweng Hospital engaged in protest action on Sunday amid claims of a new security service tender holder reportedly denying them employment. It was alleged that the newly appointed security company at the hospital had promised to employ security guards in service of the previous tender holder as soon as their contracts ended on 31 April.
It was learnt that 61 guards have been without jobs from 1 May as the new security company allegedly failed to keep its promise.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) intervened in the matter hoping to convince the new employer to keep the old security personnel but the two parties could not reach a suitable agreement. EFF Proportional Representation (PR) councillor at the Polokwane Municipality, Jerry Hine said the new security company’s tactics would promote tribalism because they only hired security guards from Venda.
Hine further said the new employer had employed only five people from the previous contract holder which was wrong. He emphasised that the new security company was expected to empower local people.
“We are still going to engage with the employer to come up with a suitable solution to the problem. The security company won a lot of tenders in various clinics and hospitals around Limpopo and this simply means a lot of people will lose their jobs. We were told that the owner of this new security company is from Venda, that is why they only employ their fellow brothers and sisters,” explained Hine.
Department of Health Spokesperson Derick Kganyago said security guards employed by the previous security company forced the new company to employ them and this was wrong. He further said the new employer came with new staff altogether.
“I think the previous employer did not explain to the guards what was going to happen at the end of the contract and this might be the reason for the confusion. The protest also ended on Sunday,” Kganyago informed.
Attempts to obtain comment from the new tender holder before going to print were unsuccessful.
Story: ENDY SENYATSI