The Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, on Tuesday issued an order compelling the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) to pay security companies the salaries of their employees backdated to December.
The order brought emotional relief to contract security officers, who said they had been struggling to make ends meet since late last year when the inconsistencies with their salaries started.
Several security companies that were doing business with Prasa went to court claiming they were unable to meet the salary expectations of their employees as Prasa owed them millions.
The workers said they were unable to rejoice though because of fears that Prasa may seek alternative remedies to avoid or delay making payment.
However, their representatives told the crowd outside the court that this time Prasa had no choice but to pay.
They said this was because the order said payment should be made immediately, or the Sheriff would attach its bank account, with the money distributed to the companies.
The crowd heard that on Friday, the Western Cape High Court also issued an order to Prasa to pay security companies in that province within seven days.
The only choice Prasa had was to negotiate payment arrangements with the companies.
National Organizer of the South African Cleaners, Security and Allied Workers Union Andies Potsane asked those gathered to wait until Friday to see if there was money in their accounts.
“We believe that this time the workers are going to be paid, but if they are not, we are going to meet again on Monday at the Bosman Train Station and block access to trains,” said Potsane.