A recent poll run by BusinessTech revealed how much South Africans say they tip car guards.
The poll attracted 1,680 respondents, showing that the vast majority of people (70%) tipped car guards between R2 and R5.
A quarter (25%) of respondents said they do not tip car guards at all.
A small minority of respondents (5%) said they tip R10 or more.
The results of the poll come on the back of a report detailing how much car guards get paid in the country.
While car guards fall under the minimum wage guidelines of the private security sector – which is set at around R2,500 per month – the nature of the job means that many car guards slip below that total, sometimes even going into the red to work.
Car guards work in a largely unregulated, informal market, where guards actually have to pay fees to work.
Guards working through agencies are required to hire uniforms daily, and also pay a “bay fee” to be placed in certain locations.
Car guards not working through an agency often pay these fees or part thereof directly to shopping mall management.
After taking these costs into account, even guards earning “high” amounts per month (R4,500), could potentially be thrown below minimum wage.
What people think
Reader response to car guards is a mix of sympathy and apathy.
Commenters made points that car guards provide zero security, and are not liable for anything in the event that a vehicle is stolen or broken into.
Some described car guards as “glorified beggars”.
More sympathetic commenters said that it was good that people were finding a way to work, and that tips were given under the right conditions.
Overall sentiment was that tipping car guards was more an act of charity than payment for a service – though some comments relayed experiences of when car guards were helpful and provided assistance that warranted reward.
[Main image: Car Guard by Makiwa]