security industry unions laments labour departments failure to act

Trade unions in the security industry are distressed by government failure to promulgate the private security sector wage increase agreement, leaving almost half a million workers without a wage increase.

Labour unions and employers in the private security industry signed a 6.7% wage increase agreement on 27 July. The agreement was forwarded almost immediately to the Department of Labour (DoL) for promulgation into law in time for the implementation date, which was clearly stated as 1 September 2018.

However, DoL convened its Employment Condition Commission last Friday (31st Aug 2018) wherein they resolved to conduct public hearing on the industry affordability of the agreed 6.7% before they could make and forward their recommendation to the Minister of Labour Ms Mildred Oliphant to promulgate it into law, and therefore the expected increase to commence on 1 September 2018 could not be realized.

Labour department has said it plans to conduct public hearings before promulgating the agreement. However, we do not understand why the hearings were not conducted in August when there was ample time

Until June this year, when DoL approved the application for the establishment of a National Private Security Bargaining Council, labour relations in this sector were governed by Sectoral Determination. It was necessary for agreements to be promulgated to ensure compliance by non-parties. But by then wage negotiations were already in full-swing having started early in the year.

Parties to these negotiations have traditionally signed three-year agreements but settled for a one-year deal to accommodate the setting up of the Bargaining Council and to ensure it takes over the work as soon as possible.

The private security industry is crucial to the South African economy as it employs about 450 000 workers, boasts no less than 22 unions and three employer associations namely: the South African National Security Employers’ Association (SANSEA), Security Association of South Africa (SASA) and the Chamber of South African Private Security (COSAPS).

Now these workers will not be receiving their annual wage increase this month (September 2018). At a meeting held on Monday, employers also expressed disappointment that the agreement would not be implemented as planned.

We know from our interactions with members that they are eagerly awaiting the wage increase after a draining negotiation process. Employers originally offered a 0% pay rise saying they were only prepared to comply with the introduction of the National Minimum Wage. It was only after government postponed the implementation date of the minimum wage that employers came to the table in earnest.

They offered 4% but we eventually managed to push them to a 6.7% settlement. Now it appears workers will have a long wait before receiving the increase.

For queries contact:

Robert 071 740 7394             email:

Shakes 082 624 1680            email: