FRANCISTOWN: Councils have been urged to allocate enough budget for private security companies servicing them.
The chairperson of the Private Security Licensing board, which is under the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security, Thebeyame Tsimako, made the call during a full council meeting recently.
Security companies servicing various government departments, councils and private organisations have often been faulted for grossly underpaying their employees. Security guards are considered to be amongst the most abused and exploited category of workers in the country.
Tsimako told civic leaders that the low budget allocated for security services might be the main reason why some private security companies have resorted to paying low wages and not delivering quality services.
“We need to motivate these security officers to want to do a good job. If they get paid so little they will be so demoralised. We need to appreciate the important work they are doing. Councils have to increase budget that is meant for security so that security firms they have hired pay their employees reasonable salaries,” he said.
The former Commissioner of Police noted that in some instances security officers guarding council facilities work under very inhumane conditions.
“Some facilities owned by councils around the country that are under the watch of private security companies do not have guard rooms.
Tsimako also said that some municipalities pay the security service providers very late. He added that security companies subsequently pay their employees very late.
Reacting to Tsimako’s address, Phillip Matante West councillor Biki Mbulawa stated that the issue of low financial budget towards private security services is very worrisome and need urgent attention.
“It is very demoralising to be paid little and very late. Security officer deserve protection from government and various stakeholders. They have been exploited for so long,” he said.
While agreeing with his colleague, Government Camp councillors Badubi Lekang however said security companies need to be closely monitored to ensure that they do not infringe on the rights of the workers.
“There are situations where some companies force their employees to buy their uniform. This is not acceptable. The employer is obliged to bear the cost of purchasing uniform and other resources required by the employee,” he said.