On the 5th of March 2020, the first recorded COVID case was made public in South Africa. March 2021 marks exactly one year since the world was turned upside down (literally).
The Security Industry was marred by the pandemic when lock-down level 5 was implemented. Although an essential service provider catering for all types of businesses, the Security Industry did take a knock, some more than others. As we approach the 1-year mark of the pandemic (realistically, COVID is going to be around for a while) and we all try and accept the new norm, the industry has made a slow but steady recovery. Its not all doom and gloom. There certainly is light at the end of the tunnel.
The new legislation for all Security Officers in terms of wage increases and medical aid contributions has come into effect as from the 1st of March 2021. There were many challenges along the way in terms of negotiations regarding the wage increase as well as implementing the medical aid scheme. Lengthy discussions, meetings and negotiations with the various bargaining councils were attended and eventually all parties agreed on the wage increase and the medical aid contribution. This should have all been legislated last year, Sept 2020, but this did not happen for various reasons. Wages across the board was finalized at 7.5% and the medical aid contribution (long overdue and a welcomed necessity), R100 contributed by the Employer and R150 contributed by the Employee. Provident Fund contributions remain unchanged, (50/50 contribution) This, all forms part of the Basic Terms and Conditions of Employment. Happy Security Officer, happy client! Let us face it, they do sometimes work under extreme conditions and deserve every extra penny!
The increases have placed pressure on an already strained economy, (so many businesses having to close their doors permanently due to the lockdown and COVID) but in order to maintain and keep turnover as low as possible and everyone happy, these increases have had to be met. One must bear in mind that the Security Industry is not the highest paying industry (one would think otherwise given the responsibility of the security guards entrusted with looking after property, lives, valuables etc.), it is therefore imperative that they are paid according to legislation.
We are hopeful that the economy will recover, it may take a little longer and there will be a few challenges along the way, but one thing is for sure, security, now days is an essential part of everyday life. It has now become a necessity and it is therefore so important to safeguard the lives of each and every Security Officer that is out there protecting our assets and our interests.
Lesley Wallendorf 2021