SAN cautions against wage increments

Martin Endjala

The Security Association of Namibia (SAN) vice president, Corinus Kotzé, has cautioned against increasing the salaries of its employees without considering the market the sector operates within.

His caution comes after some security guards belonging to the association and non-members demanded an increment, stating that market prices dictate the increment percentages.

Kotzé said this during a minimum wage consultation for the security sector on Tuesday  in Windhoek.

“We could find ourselves in a situation where we have to let go of employees. Which we want to avoid at all costs, but we need to find a solution to meet each other halfway to ensure that the business is sustained, thereby also maintaining the jobs of our employees,” explained Kotzé.

SAN members and non-members met to discuss issues related to the ongoing negotiations with the Namibia Security Labour Forum (NSLF).

Kotzé stated that despite these circumstances, the association is far better off compared to previous years.

He added that the government’s statutory requirements determine the cost to organizations.

“Every time you have to pay a guard, for example, N$10, government provisions say you also need to make leave provisions,” said Kotzé.

He said the employers need to know what the increase will do in terms of the market and whether they are in a position to sell such a product to the market.

Kotzé explained that businesses don’t want to scare off clients, which could lead to artificial intelligence replacing jobs. For this reason, he called for smart collaboration to ensure the sustainability of the security sector and preserve livelihoods.

Namibian Food and Allied Workers Union (NAFAU) secretary general, Jacob Penda argues that the association lacks the power to regulate security companies that are not members and continue to tarnish the sector’s reputation by not paying its employees.

He also emphasized the issue of the tender conundrum, stating that companies outside the associations appear to be receiving tenders more easily than their members, a situation that requires attention.

“Despite the organization’s rules, some members continue to violate these laws without facing consequences,” he said.

In response to the concerns raised, the SAN president, Dhiginina Uutaapama, noted that members who are found to be in the wrong are dealt with amicably, either by issue of a fine or termination of their membership should they fail to comply.

“We are a standard association, and we will not permit any member to act outside the law; if such a member fails to adhere to our guidelines, that member will face the law,” said Uutaapama.

In order to establish the association as a model for the sector, he also stated that they are in talks with the ministry of labor and justice and the NSLF to receive full powers to regulate the entire security sector, where every security company must adhere to the association’s laws.

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