The Security Association of Namibia (SAN) has expressed its dismay in the manner in which security tenders for the provision of security services were awarded. In the statement, SAN is casting doubt on the awarded companies’ compliance with labour law.
SAN singled out two tenders which were recently awarded. “SAN wishes to bring to your attention our concern regarding the recent tenders awarded by the Kunene Regional Council and Namibia Post and Telecom Holdings”, the statement read. The announcement follows after the association formally distanced itself from a tender awarded for the provision of security services for NPTH.
Arguing that they believe that the amounts awarded do not comply with the minimum wage required as per the collective agreement of the Labour Act
“We urge all the correspondent offices and stakeholders to consider the associated costs and the legal implications of non-compliance with the minimum wage requirements before awarding any tender” read the statement.
SAN further indicated that they are in continuous consultation with other unions to pave way for SAN’s return to Namibia Security Labour Forum (NSLF) in order to revise the collective agreement.
SAN also believes that adherence to fair and ethical procurement practices is essential to promote sustainable development and inclusive growth in the country. “We trust that this matter will be taken seriously and that corrective measures will be implemented to ensure that fair and just wages are paid to the security guards who work tirelessly to protect the assets and interests of the clients”.
Meanwhile, Dhiginina Uutaapama, National President of the Security Association of Namibia, told this publication that this has been going on for quite some time, and their grievances to both those involved and the Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) have never been answered positively, hence they are now taking a stand against this injustice depriving of the men and women in uniform from living a good livelihood.
According to Uutaapama, the association signed an agreement with the Ministry of Labour at the request of the Security Association of Namibia, Namibian Transport and Allied Workers Union, Namibia Independent Security Union and Namibia Security Guards and Watchmen’s Union.
The parties agreed on a minimum wage and the adjusted level determines the wage for the entry and new level of security officers in Namibia. Specific categories of security enterprises may be exempted temporarily from the whole agreement, or parts thereof; in accordance with the criteria to be determined by the Forum.
They collectively negotiated the Agreement which should be revisited after 18 months of implementation.
As of 1 July 2017 the minimum wage for all security officers who have, at that time, been employed with their current employer for a cumulative period of no less than 12 months, shall be N$ 10.00 per hour.
It is against this background that the SAN president is questioning the awarding of such a tender with such low amounts given what its members have to spend through which it must pay its expenses saying this is not enough, thus calling for tender awarding to be aligned with the security officer’s entry wage agreement as stated by the law.
“This is not right, we are suffering too much, and why are they not awarding as per our agreement in the law, and yet we must also increase the salaries of our security guards, this can’t go we, will not accept such tender till amendments are made to suit the livelihoods of our people”, said the frustrated president.
Furthermore, when approached on the matter CPBN spokesperson Johanna Kambala said that CPBN never facilitated the bids in question, hence the organisation is not in a position to comment on the concerns raised by SAN.
Amongst the association members involved is the Namibia Protection Services (Pty) Ltd which was awarded a tender by the Kunene Regional Council Worth N$957 744, VAT included for 36 months, with the deductible VAT of N$124 923,14 with N$832 820,86 over 36 months.
This now means that N$23 133, 91 will be paid to six guards per month, bringing their initial monthly salaries to N$3 855,65 per month. Uutaapama has reiterated that their guards are not being paid the minimum wage rate of N$2 per hour rate, due to their experiences and training and they ar very vital to the country hence the call for intervention.
Efforts to get hold of the Kunene Regional Council Chairperson or treasury proved futile.