EFF takes security companies to task over ‘theft of guards’ pension fund’

The EFF has taken the cudgel on behalf of millions of security guards whose pension payouts and Unemployment Insurance Fund benefits have not accrued to them.

The red beret brigade alleged that the security company owners have over the years deducted funds from the salaries of the security guards but failed to contribute them to the relevant funds.

This came to the fore when EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu wrote a letter of complaint to Finance Minister Enock Godongwana.

In the letter Shivambu wrote to Godongwana, he said: “It has come to our attention that private security companies have been unlawfully deducting money from the salaries of security guards. These deductions were purportedly for contributions to various benefit funds, including health, pension and provident funds.

“However, these companies have failed miserably to fulfil their obligations to channel these deductions into the relevant funds. This egregious misconduct, aptly characterised by the EFF as mass-scale theft from workers, has resulted in the misappropriation of up to R6-billion in workers’ funds.”

He said the EFF’s investigation has revealed that the companies have, and continue to give former and current employees a raw deal, which makes it impossible to draw their deserved benefits.

He said the probe came after the EFF received complaints from workers,  who described the action as “criminal”.  

Shivambu decried the exploitation and theft of workers’ hard-earned wages as something that should not be “tolerated under any circumstances”.

“We believe that decisive action is necessary to rectify this grave injustice and to hold accountable those responsible.”

EFF spokesperson, Sinawo Thambo, said the party took it upon itself to investigate the matter.

“We have received 246 complaints through our labour desk regarding security companies that are failing to pay their security guards their pension funds. This is a serious matter that involves people who have families to look after.

“Our whip in parliament, Floyd Shivambu, has also written to the minister of finance about the matter, and to ascertain that companies contracted by the state should not be part of the non-compliance, where the workers’ hard-earned money is stolen,” he said.

Thambo further said the EFF was engaging with the Department of Labour, the relevant sector bargaining council and the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration regarding the plight of the guards, whose money “was allegedly stolen by security companies under the guise that it was being paid in pension fund schemes”.

The party will be meeting the Financial Sector Conduct Authority on Thursday to discuss the matter.

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