Big increase for SA security guards on minimum wage – here’s how much they get paid

The South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Unions (Satawu) has indicated that a number of its members will benefit from the introduction of the national minimum wage.

The National Minimum Wage Act came into effect on 1 January, setting the wage floor at R20 per hour with the exception of farm workers whose minimum is set at R18 per hour, domestic workers (R15 per hour) and Extended Public Works Programme Workers (R11 per hour).

In a statement released on Tuesday (22 January), the trade union said that starting at the end of January, the minimum wage’s implementation will see security officers in Area 2 or 3 receive an extra R517 per month.

“Area 2 and 3 are those areas outside major metropolitan cities as such Johannesburg, Cape Town,” it said.

“For instance, a Grade C security officer in Area 2 or 3 who used to earn R3,643 will now be paid R4,160.”

This represents an increase of over 14%.

“It’s estimated more than 100,000 security officers will benefit from the implementation of the NMW. The status quo with regards to working conditions maintains.”

How much they earn

After a prolonged negotiation period, the Department of Labour published the new prescribed minimum wages for the private security sector in October 2018.

The minimum wages officially kicked-in from 1 November 2018, and included wage increases for security officers as well as a number of other employee categories – including clerical staff, artisans, control centre operators, drivers, and general workers.

According to the latest 2018/2019 report by the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA), there are currently 2.36 million security officers registered in South Africa – of which over 498,435 are employed by just over 9,000 registered and active security businesses.

This means that there are close to five security officers to every police officer in South Africa.

Most of these security businesses and security officers are operating and employed in Gauteng followed by KwaZulu-Natal (42% and 39% respectively), and the Western Cape.

Private security officers in South Africa are paid according to the roles and responsibilities they have. Guards are therefore graded between A and E based on the type of duty they perform.

Grade Function
Grade A Primary function would normally be a site manager or commander. Controlling and managing a number of functions. Managing the security workforce. Conducting risk assessments and evaluations on site daily. Basic investigative skills. Problem-solving. Designing security solutions.
Grade B Primary function is access control in high-risk areas where documentation and basic computer skills might be required. A site or shift commander. Managing of lower grade security officers. Possible inspector doing site visits.
Grade C Primary function is access control of a higher risk area and supervision of lower grade security officers
Grade D & E Primary function is access control, or patrol officers

The rate of pay differs across South Africa in the following brackets.

While the department lists Area 1 and Area 2 regions together, previous releases list the following as Area 2: Bloemfontein, East London, Kimberley, Klerksdorp, Pietermaritzburg, Somerset West, Stellenbosch and Strand.

Area Covers
Areas 1 & Area 2 Alberton, Bellville, Benoni, Boksburg, Bloemfontein, Brakpan, Camperdown, Chatsworth, Durban, East London, Germiston, Goodwood, Inanda, Johannesburg, Kempton Park, Kimberley, Klerksdorp, Krugersdorp, Kuils River, Mitchell’s Plain, Nigel, Oberholzer, Paarl, Pietermaritzburg, Pinetown, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Randburg, Randfontein, Roodepoort, Sasolburg, Simon’s Town, Somerset West, Springs, Stellenbosch, Strand, The Cape, Uitenhage, Vanderbijlpark, Vereeniging, Westonaria, Wonderboom and Wynberg
Area 3 All other areas

The bracketed figures indicate how much salaries will increase at the end of January according to Satawu:

Security Officer Areas 1 & 2 Area 3
Grade A R5 558 R4 613 (R5 130)
Grade B R4 981 R4 198 (R4 715)
Grade C R4 377 R3 643 (R4 160)
Grade D & E R4 377 R3 643 (R4 160)

Read: Multichoice’s top execs will earn a massive R55 million in salaries this year

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Big increase for SA security guards on minimum wage – here’s how much they get paid