Blitz labour inspections for private security companies

Labour inspectors are to conduct “blitz inspections” of private security companies starting next week, the Labour Department said on Thursday.

“They will be looking at things like occupational hazards and basic conditions of employment,” said spokesperson Page Boikanyo.

Teams of labour inspectors would visit large security firms from February 8 to 12.

“The point of departure is compliance, we are not wielding a stick, we are just going to ensure that things are done right,” he said.

The industry, with an estimated contribution of R14-billion to the economy, was hit by a violent strike in 2006 that highlighted working conditions.

Boikanyo said if companies failed to comply with the basic conditions of employment, they would be issued with a contravention notice and given a period of about 60 days in which to comply.

A follow-up inspection would then take place to determine whether the company had heeded the department’s notice.

Recommending legal action would be a last resort should the department find the employer unwilling to comply.

“They will be given ample opportunity to put things right; if they need education, if they are unaware of how things work, we will provide that,” he said.

According to the department, there were 4 763 registered security firms, 4 041 guarding companies, 868 cash-in-transit firms and 881 armed response companies. Just more than 300 000 people were employed in the sector in 2007. — Sapa

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