The Namibian Security Union (NASU) has threatened to take legal action against a local security company Nyime Anti-Poaching Unit for allegedly failing to pay its workers the minimum wage.
According to NASU Secretary General, Joseph Mikka, the security company has been exploiting its workers for many years without any action being taken against it.
“I think it is about time we go as far as asking the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to cancel the contract they have with that company. We have tried calling the owner, but all he does is send us back and forth, or tell me not to ever call him,” Mikka alleged this week in an interview with the Windhoek Observer.
Nyime Anti-Poaching Unit currently provides security services at the Hoenderplaas between Okahandja and Windhoek, at Okapuka Game Ranch and Witvlei village.
“I think the owner of the company still lives in the colonial era because when we asked him why he allows his people to drink from dirty dams he said, baboons also drink from dams and rivers, but they don’t die,” Mikka claimed.
The union boss said they had reported the security company to the ministry of labour on several occasions, but nothing has changed.
However, labour Permanent Secretary, Bro-Mathew Shinguadja, told the Windhoek Observer that complaints from the union have not reached his office yet.
“It is the first time I am hearing about the company, but I will follow up if they give me more information on where and when they reported the matter,” Shinguadja said.
Nyime Anti-Poaching was also recently in the news for failing to assist one of its employees, Andreas Mathews, who was accidently riddled with bullets by a fellow colleague at Hoenderplaas during an operation.
Mathews, who has been working for the company for two years and five months said he gets a salary of N$2,520 excluding any benefits.
Another employee, who did not want to be identified for fear of victimisation, also claimed to receive the same salary as Mathews, which he said is not enough to meet his everyday needs.
Nyime Anti-Poaching supervisor, Christo Dreyer, refused comment when contacted earlier this week.
“We have people that deal with the company’s labour cases. All I can say is they must just follow the necessary procedures. We pay a lot of money to people who are supposed to deal with these things. The union must deal with them,” he said.
Mikka further said cases of worker abuse were rampant in the security services sector.
“I have to state that most security companies in Namibia do not care one bit about their employees. There are many that think they can do as they please with guards,” he said.
Earlier this year, the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) said their office was forced to approach the labour commissioner in a bid to force security companies to comply with the minimum wage agreement set out.
The Namibian recently reported that more than 150 companies across the country are listed as not fully obeying the minimum wage agreement of N$10 per hour while just over 30 are said to be paying the minimum wage for security guards.