Workers employed by facilities management company Bosasa, now known as African Global Operations (AGO), staged a prptest outside its Mogale City head office on Monday – minutes after the company announced its voluntary liquidation.
“[W]e are gathered here … to make several demands relating to medical aid, transport allowance and wages,” South African Private Security Workers Union (SAPSWU) representative Moses Sefala said.
The group of demonstrators is hired as security personnel at the Lindela Repatriation Centre and were unaware that just minutes before the demonstration, the company announced that it would go into voluntary liquidation, which could lead 4 500 employees to possibly lose their jobs.
This comes after First National Bank (FNB) and Absa informed the company, led by CEO Gavin Watson, of its decision to close its bank accounts.
“The extensive reputational damage in the past few months, occasioned by negative media reports, has resulted in financial institutions’ determination that the African Global Group poses a reputational risk for them as clients,” AGO said in a statement on Monday.
“The decisions made by the financial institutions are not based on the African Global Group’s liquidity status, financial stability, operational performance or growth forecasts. On the contrary, the group is both factually and commercially solvent. Tragically, the group will be unable to trade without a bank account,” the group explained.
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Bosasa was thrust into the spotlight during the ongoing commission of inquiry into state capture when former COO Angelo Agrizzi revealed an alleged system of corruption involving top government officials, over a decade.
Thabo Mamohale, an employee, said he was shocked to learn through the inquiry allegations that his management was offering large bribes to rich officials while workers received low salaries.
“How can you give someone who earns more than R100 000 big money, but you offer peanuts to the people that are actually working for you?
“I have been working here for years but I don’t even have a car or a house to show for it, but they are busy giving people money,” he alleged.
A memorandum was handed over to a management official, Johan Abrie, who told workers that he could not make any promises.
“I will pass it on to the leadership of the group and we will respond within seven days.
“At this stage, I cannot make any promises or commitments as it is out of my hands,” he told workers.