Govt on under-employment
THE Government will by next month come up with a strategic framework meant to reduce under-employment in the country, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Under-employment refers to a situation whereby people in a labour force are employed at less than full-time or regular jobs or at jobs inadequate with respect to their training or economic needs. As a result of the economic situation most people have been forced to take any jobs regardless of their academic attainment to just earn a living with reports that some university graduates were now engaged in vending.
In an interview on the sidelines of a breakfast meeting in Bulawayo on Friday, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Patrick Zhuwao said the strategic framework must be ready by 1 December.
“We are developing a strategic framework which will assist us to resolve under-employment. Zimbabwe at almost full employment is at 95 percent but that employment is primarily made up of people in the informal sector with about 84 percent of the employment coming from the informal sector which I regard as unrecorded unemployment.
“This coming week we are going to develop the concept note and then engage stakeholders. In the second week, we will have national mobilisation around the concept and the third week we will have provincial outreach programmes to understand how we can put the strategy into effect. In the fourth week, we will get report back on the provincial consultations. Ultimately by the last week of November, the framework should be released before the Christmas break. The strategic framework will be used for the labour sector from 2018 – 2023,” said Minister Zhuwao.
While addressing delegates at the breakfast meeting, Minister Zhuwao said Zimbabwe’s low Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was as a result of low domestic investments and not the Indigenous and Empowerment Policy.
“Critics say that Zimbabwe doesn’t have much FDI because of policies like indigenisation. This is a lie. We have low FDI because when we bring in FDI, it must sit next to domestic investment. Unfortunately, we have low domestic investment because we don’t have sufficient long term savings. Long term savings are in the form of investments in pensions. As a ministry, we want to be able to stimulate long term savings in an effort to assist the Ministry of Finance to structure investments,” he said.
Zimbabwe attracted about $319 million in FDI in 2016 compared to $421 million in 2015. Foreign investment inflows into Zimbabwe stood at $387 million in 2011, stagnated at $400 million in 2012 and 2013 and then reached an all-time high of $545 million in 2014 before declining.
The Government is in the process of setting set up Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as a measure to improve FDI flows. SEZs will attract investors by offering investors merits such as tax incentives. Last week, Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr Ignatius Chombo said Zimbabwe has an average $400 million in FDI per year, which is lower than the regional average of $800 million. Minister Zhuwao also highlighted that there is a need to support entrepreneurs so that they can contribute towards social security.
“Entrepreneurs need to be promoted so that they also contribute towards social security because we need to have long term savings. This will also facilitate for long terms savings which will in turn contribute towards domestic investment,” he said.
Minister Zhuwao praised the Command Soya Bean Scheme, saying it would eliminate importation of soya beans by May 2018.
The Government will give 10 kilogrammes of soya bean seed to each farmer who will benefit from the Presidential Inputs Scheme this year. Zimbabwe is said to be losing about $200 million through soya beans imports annually.
Megafest Southern Region Businesswoman of the Year 2017, Dr Rangarirai Tatenda Gunda (second from left) of Tatenda Safaris from Victoria Falls holds her trophy while her business manager Mr Kudzai Chisadza (second from right) holds a miniature trophy at the Megafest Business Awards ceremony held at a Bulawayo hotel on Friday evening. On the extreme right is Mr Dzingirai Tusai who was the guest of honour and on the left is Megafest CEO Dr Tafadzwa Matsika. (See story and more pictures on Page B6)