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MANZINI - Security guards are set to get 7.5 per cent salary adjustment for the 2023/24 financial year.

This comes after the security industry wages council; tripartite formed by employers, employees and government, reached an agreement. According to a source close to the matter, the wages council reached an agreement after about three successful negotiation meetings. The representative of the security guards - the Swaziland Amalgamated Trade Union (SATU) went to the negotiation table with a demand of increasing its members’ minimum wage of about E2 500 by at least 15 per cent. In a previous interview, SATU Secretary General Frank Mncina, revealed to this publication, that even though their position paper for the 2023/24 wages council had a demand of 15 per cent salary adjustment, their members’ ultimate goal was to earn at least E4 000 per month.


However, he mentioned that even though the demand of E4 000 per month could be practically achieved, it could take a long time, thus they decided to table the demand of 15 per cent. He said the E4 000 per month salary could be achieved in the not so distant future. According to the source, after SATU had tabled its position paper at the wages council, the employers made a counter offer of 3.5 per cent salary adjustment and cited that they were still recovering from the COVID-19 and June 2021 civil unrest effects. However, the source said SATU argued that they would not accept anything that would be below the inflation rate, which was about 5.7 per cent at that time. He said the negotiations continued and the employers’ counter offer increased until it reached 7.5 per cent, which the parties eventually agreed on. The 7.5 per cent salary adjustment will increase the security guards minimum remuneration by E375, from the E2 500 to E2 875. The secretary general of SATU confirmed the latest developments. He said they were happy with the 7.5 per cent salary adjustment because it was above the inflation rate. He said most of the time, the employers used to make a counter offer which was below the inflation rate and did not increase it. For example, he said last financial year, they ended up settling for 4.5 per cent pay rise. “However, this year, we saw a totally different behaviour from the employers and we believed that the future is brighter for our members,” Mncina said. In that regard, he said they believed the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Phila Buthelezi’s statement, which he made when commissioning the wages councils, played a huge role in the negotiations.


When the minister was about to commission the wages councils for the various sectors of the economy, he paid a courtesy visit to some companies, where he engaged the employers and employees. One of the issues he talked about when engaging the workers, was that of salaries. After the courtesy visits, the minister highlighted that he learnt that after government, through the wages councils had published gazettes for minimum wages; some employers did not engage their employees on what they could add on top of the minimum wage. Instead, he said, some employers stuck to the minimum wage, yet they should negotiate with the workers, in terms of their affordability. Basically, by setting the minimum wage, he said government was saying workers in the different sectors should not be paid less that that (gazetted minimum wage). Therefore, the minister told the various wages councils that they had a mandate to increase the minimum wage in the industries in such a way that an individual would be able to survive in the rapidly increasing cost of living.