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Labour inspectors turn attention to security industry

by Mothiba — last modified 2010-02-09 11:42

3 February 2010

The department of labour’s inspectors are to take the bull by its horns when they conduct the first blitz inspections across the country next week to ensure compliance with all labour laws, ranging from occupational health and safety to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA).

This comes hot on the heels of similar tough-as-nail inspections in the agricultural, construction and hospitality sectors. The inspections follow the declaration by labour Minister, Membathisi Mdladlana, that “workers’ rights are human rights and that we will stop at nothing to ensure compliance.’’

The campaign, which starts on Monday (Feb 08) and ends on Friday, will see teams of labour officials meticulously going through company records, interviewing workers and management to ensure that nothing goes through the net.

According to experts, a total of 4 763 security firms were registered in 2006, employing a total of 269 901 workers. The number of those employed was to grow phenomenally the following year with just over 300 000 employed.

Figures for active registered businesses included 4 763 security firms, 4041 guarding companies, 868 cash-in-transit firms and 881 armed response concerns.

In terms of its contribution to the economy of the country, it has been valued at R14 billion annually.

Operating in the industry are six large employer organisations and 18 trade unions.

Experts further said the sector was the source of considerable foreign direct investment through local subsidiaries. The industry is expected to feature prominently during the World Cup spectacle as security concerns dominate the media space.

The industry hit the headlines in 2006 during a protracted wage strike, which also highlighted the terrible working conditions faced by those employed.

Results of a survey conducted into the working conditions said almost 60 percent of security guards earned less than R1 500 per month, while over 70 percent worked more than 45 hours a week.


Issued by: Page Boikanyo

                Department of Labour Spokesperson 


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