Service providers and employees are relieved at having finally been paid millions owing to them by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) following a court order stipulating parastatal pay its debtors.
Last month Chuma Security Services, Iliso Protection Services and Sechaba Protection Services Western Cape approached the High Court after they had not been paid over R11 million owed to them following five months of non-payment.
On October 25 the High Court ordered Metrorail to start paying from October 28.
Owner of Chuma Security Services, who could not be named due to his contractual agreement with Metrorail, said at last he was relieved and could pay his employees.
Previously, he said his company was on the verge of collapse and he had stopped going to his office fearing that some employees “camping” at his premises would assault him if he could not produce their wages.
He was also fearing for his family after other workers started sending threatening text messages complaining that they were suffering while he and his family were living comfortably.
His company has 700 employees and 220 were providing security services to Prasa in the city.
Monday he said he felt relieved as the first payment of R2 million came through last Wednesday.
However, he complained that he had not yet received payment for October, hoping that he would not be forced to approach the courts again in order to be paid.
According to the High Court settlement agreement the three companies were set to be paid R2 001 00, R798 000 and 2 001 000 respectively on October 28 and the outstanding arrears settled in monthly installments.
Thobile Mali, 35, a father of three from Paarl who works for Chuma Security, was relieved, saying for the last six months he had not been paid.
His children could no longer go to school but he continued to work despite others leaving the company.
Mali said he was “glad that at last we will be paid on November 6. We had lost hope in the company.
“It’s been very difficult. My family depended on me and I couldn’t support them, but now its better, there is hope”. –Francis Hweshe