The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality plans to hire all 845 security guards already responsible for the protection of municipal properties by the end of July.
The security guards currently work for Metro Securities and Fidelity.
Of the 845 security guards, 460 will be employed by the municipality from next month, with the remainder to be signed on by July.
The city’s contract with both companies ended in September, leaving hundreds of guards concerned about their jobs.
But the city is on a month-to-month contract with the companies.
A motion to have all the security guards absorbed into the municipality’s organogram was brought by the EFF in March.
The city council agreed to the motion last week.
At present, the security guards earn between R3 400 and R4 200 a month.
Once they have been hired by the municipality, their salary packages will be worth about R11 000.
Budget and treasury political head Retief Odendaal said the absorption of the security guards would save the municipality millions of rands.
In the last financial year, nearly R130-million had been budgeted for protecting the city’s premises.
Odendaal said a budget of R100-million had been set aside for security for the 2017-18 financial year.
“Ultimately this will save the metro money, but this is not just a moneysaving effort, at the end of the day we believe that many of these security guards have worked for the city for years,” he said.
Odendaal said they believed the move was in the best interest of the security guards and the city.
City manager Johann Mettler said the move would also be cheaper for the municipality.
“It is a difficult move because people must be qualified. They must go through a process of making sure that they are qualified in terms of our requirements,” Mettler said.
“A decision was taken by council to rather have internal staff.”
A security guard at the Lillian Diedericks Building, who did not want to be named, said: “We are relieved as we had been working under very difficult circumstances. We worked many hours for peanuts.”