Gauteng patrollers suffer starvation due to delays in payments of stipends

The unnecessary delays in payments of Gauteng patrollers stipends has unjustly impacted negatively on the livelihoods of patrollers as they are solely dependent on this stipend to feed their families.

The DA is infuriated to learn of these non-payments of patroller stipends in the past and current financial year.

This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko, in a written reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to MEC Mazibuko, there are two groups of patrollers that have not yet been paid in the last financial year; 1222 land invasion patrollers and 140 festive season patrollers.

While the Department of Human Settlements is responsible for the payment of land invasion patrollers, there is an existing arrangement where they transfer the funds to the Department of Community Safety to effect payment. The payment was only transferred on 8 June 2021 and the payment was scheduled to be effected on 20 June 2021.

MEC Mazibuko states that 140 festive season patrollers were not paid were a result of incorrect account numbers or branch codes which resulted in an exception when payment was affected. To date, 39 of the patrollers had not yet been paid and the department is working together with them to ensure that they get their money.

Furthermore, the MEC says that there is a significant number of School Safety Project patrollers that have not been paid in the current financial year, and that the payment complaint linked to this project are normally referred to the Department of Education for intervention.

Considering the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the delays in payment of patroller’s stipends should not be tolerated as so many of them are going to bed hungry while they are being owed money for work done.

The delays in payment of patrollers stipends are a result of poor planning and incompetency by these Department’s as all excuses provided are administration and accounting-related.

Patrollers play a crucial role in safeguarding our precious community resources such as schools and empty land, and they also ensure the safety of our people particularly during festive seasons at malls and shopping centres. They assist the police in patrolling and preventing crime as well as in reporting crime.

Going forward, the DA will be;

  • Writing to Gauteng Premier, David Makhura requesting that his office urgently investigate what is causing the delays in payment of patrollers stipends and to provide us with an exact date as to when these payments will be made;
  • Continue engaging directly with patrollers across the province to ensure outstanding payments are received by these hardworking South Africans;
  • Follow up with the relevant provincial departments on what new measures they will put in place to ensure there are no delayed payments in the future.

We will not rest until there is a mechanism in place by this current Gauteng administration to ensure that patrollers are paid timeously every month. This tendency of not paying patrollers on time must come to an end as failure to pay them will result in them pulling off their services and putting the safety of our resources at risk.

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