Mfika owes his life to the R380 he had in his pocket last week when three armed men confronted him. While opening his Orlando, Soweto back yard shack after a long day at work, two of the men approached him and demanded to get in while the other stood guard.
Inside his one room shack, with two guns pointed at him, they demanded to know why he was working while they were on strike and told him they had come to "finish him off" as he was a gundwane
Mfika pleaded with the men to accept the R380 transport money he had on him as he would never go back to work. The striking security guards started arguing among themselves.
"What do we tell them if we don't do it," demanded one still pointing his gun. It is not clear who "them" refers to.
But most of the guards returning to work will have to look for new jobs. Some companies have had their contracts cancelled because of non-performance due to workers staying away and more expect to lose contracts as a result of the increase.
Francois Joubert, MD of Letaba Security in Polokwane, an employer of 150 guards expects to lose some of his contracts as a result of this wage increase. "Some of my clients have told me we will have to cancel their contracts if we implement this increment as they would not be able to cope."
The lowest paid of Jourbert's guards get a basic salary of R1 050 as he is in area five and can now look forward to an additional R97.12. That is if he still has a job.