Private security sector in South Africa inks four-year deal with annual 13% wage increase in first year

The private security sector in South Africa is set to receive improved basic salaries with a 13% annual wage rise.

The increase will also increase for the next four years after two employer associations and five unions inked a deal in the sector’s wage talks.

The agreement is set for submission to the office of Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi for promulgation after signing, making it the first four-year wage deal in the sector’s history.

It will see guards’ salaries rise by R1 277 over the next four years. Additionally, all premium allowances will rise by R1 per year.

The Kungwini Amalgamated Workers Union (KAWU) said labour met with employers in the private security sector to discuss the wage increase proposal. The discussion resulted in an agreement, including wage rises.

The increase means grade A area 1, or high-level employees, will see their salary rise from R6 907 in 2023 to R8 184 in 2026. Grade A area 3 employees will see their salary rise from R5 915 in 2023 to R7 142 in 2026. Grade B area 1 employees will see their salary rise from R6 330 in 2023 to R7 607 in 2026.

Unions previously demanded that employers implement increases of 16.14% in the first year, 14.12% in the second year, and 12.37% in the third year.

The wage agreement has been signed by the Security Association of SA (SASA) and the SA National Employers Association (Sansea).

The eight unions that were signatories to the deal are the Abanqobi Workers Union (AWU); the Kungwini Amalgamated Workers Union (KAWU); the Professional Transport and Allied Workers Union (PTAWU); the SA National Security and Allied Workers Forum (Sansawf); and the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu).

The agreement stated: “The parties agree that the minimum basic remuneration as contained in the first main collective agreement shall be increased as outlined. The parties further agree that these amendments shall equally apply to employees employed on non-standard service agreements, including fixed-term agreements.”

Fidelity Services Group CEO Wahl Bartmann said the agreement would be in place for the next four years, effective 1 March 2023. Bartmann said the agreement was a “fair and reasonable agreement for all parties”.

In late August, the private security wage talks were in deadlock and unions threatened a strike by 500 000 of the country’s 2.5 million registered private security guards if their concerns were not addressed.

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