Security companies that continue to abuse workers and violate their right to decent employment will soon be blacklisted from service providers' list of the Maun Administrative Authority (MAA), the Finance Department of the Council has warned.
The warning was made by MAA Chairman of the Finance and Works Committee, Luke Motlaleselelo in an interview with The Patriot on Sunday on the sidelines of a Budget Presentation Meeting. The council complains that despite paying security companies millions of Pula every year they continue on the other hand to receive many complaints of labour rights violations from employees of the same companies.
From the Maun Administrative Authority’s proposed 2020/21 financial budget around P12.7 million will be allocated to security companies to render services. The amount which takes up the larger portion of the Department of Legal Services budget is used to engage ompanies to provide security to council buildings/infrastructure.
According Motlaleselelo, some of the complaints from aggrieved employees are that the companies do not pay them their monthly salaries on time and that they also do not provide them with protective uniforms and equipment. Motlaleselelo said this is a concern because they sometimes experience criminal activities occurring at council buildings only because security officers who were supposed to be on duty are not because they had a dispute with their employer. “If these companies are not paying salaries as set out in our contracts it therefore means that they are charging us extra. They are somehow dubiously gaining from us in a way that was not agreed in the contracts. So this is a concern that needs to be addressed,” he observed.
Motlaleselelo said they are also well aware of dodgy conduct by some security companies doing business with the MAA, among them providing non-existing contact addresses as a way to avoid the Labour Department whenever there is a complainant against them. “These issues have been worrying us as council, mostly because they are matters between an employee and an employer which are governed by labour laws. So we recently decided to intervene to come up with ways that will help to resolve the problem, ” said Motlaleselelo.
To this end, the Finance and Project Management Committees have tasked Senior Assistant Council Secretary to engage the legal team to study existing contracts to find ways to resolve the perennial disputes. Corrective measures will be taken against companies found to be repeat offenders who have a lot of complaints from their workers. Motlaleselelo decried that offending companies create a lot of problems for MAA because affected employees are part of the community which the council serves and protects. “If they do not comply with what is stipulated in our contracts which is for us to pay them and for them to pay their employees we will then be forced to take tough decisions and not engage them for business. It is very disappointing that these companies were given preference because they are citizen owned, now if they continue to embarrass us we have no option but to look for security services elsewhere,” Motlaleselelo warned.
Numerous futile attempts were made to reach Security Association of Botswana (SAB) and the Union of Private Security Workers (UPSW).