Govt to con­tinue sup­port­ing NSSA

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Africa Moyo re­cently in VIC­TO­RIA FALLS

GOV­ERN­MENT is con­cerned with the so­cial se­cu­rity of its cit­i­zens and re­mains com­mit­ted to cre­at­ing favourable con­di­tions for the Na­tional So­cial Se­cu­rity Author­ity (NSSA) to con­tinue ex­e­cut­ing its role of col­lect­ing con­tri­bu­tions and pro­vid­ing de­cent monthly pay­outs to pen­sion­ers.

This was said by Labour and So­cial Wel­fare Min­is­ter Petronella Kagonye in a speech read on her be­half by the min­istry’s per­ma­nent sec­re­tary, Mr Ngoni Masoka, in Vic­to­ria Falls on Wed­nes­day night dur­ing a wel­come re­cep­tion for del­e­gates at­tend­ing the East and Cen­tral African So­cial Se­cu­rity As­so­ci­a­tion (ECASSA).

The ECASSA con­fer­ence ran from May 15 to to­day and was at­tended by del­e­gates from the eight mem­ber coun­tries in­clud­ing Uganda.

“The Zim­bab­wean Gov­ern­ment, through my min­istry, is alive to the im­por­tance of so­cial se­cu­rity. In this re­gards, we will con­tinue to cre­ate a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for NSSA to de­liver its man­date through en­sur­ing ef­fi­ciency in col­lec­tion of con­tri­bu­tions, sound in­vest­ments and pro­vid­ing a live­able monthly pay­out to pen­sion­ers,” said Min­is­ter Kagonye.

NSSA has in­vested in a num­ber of ven­tures in­clud­ing in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment and buy­ing shares from lo­cally listed firms as a way of grow­ing the pen­sion con­tri­bu­tions.

Last year, NSSA in­creased the pen­sion pay­out from $60 to $80 to en­sure pen­sion­ers get a de­cent liv­ing.

Min­is­ter Kagonye also told ECASSA del­e­gates to lo­cate av­enues of in­tro­duc­ing pack­ages that cater for the in­for­mal sec­tor, which is grow­ing in most African coun­tries.

She said re­cent sta­tis­tics show that the in­for­mal econ­omy now ac­counts for over 90 per­cent of the work­ing pop­u­la­tion in Zim­babwe and other ECASSA mem­ber coun­tries.

“With that in mind, I sin­cerely hope that as ECASSA, you will put your heads to­gether in com­ing up with ef­fec­tive strate­gies for ex­tend­ing so­cial se­cu­rity cov­er­age to this hith­erto vul­ner­a­ble and ne­glected sec­tor, es­pe­cially in or­der to en­sure that women’s vul­ner­a­bil­ity is re­duced.

“I am pleased to in­form you that Zim­babwe is tak­ing great strides in en­sur­ing that so­cial se­cu­rity cov­er­age is ex­tended to the in­for­mal econ­omy,” said Min­is­ter Kagonye.

NSSA is al­ready work­ing on in­tro­duc­ing a vol­un­tary so­cial se­cu­rity scheme aimed at ben­e­fit­ing peo­ple in the in­for­mal sec­tor.

In many coun­tries, avail­able so­cial se­cu­rity schemes only cover em­ploy­ees in the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors and are on reg­u­lar con­tracts.

The ma­jor­ity of ca­sual work­ers in sec­tors such as agri­cul­ture, do­mes­tic, in­for­mal and mi­grant work­ers are ex­cluded.

Given the low lev­els of for­mal em­ploy­ment par­tic­i­pa­tion by women, their in­sur­ance cov­er­age is low, mak­ing them highly ex­posed to eco­nomic va­garies.

ECASSA was formed in 2007 by so­cial se­cu­rity in­sti­tu­tions in East and Cen­tral African coun­tries with the key de­sire of work­ing to­gether to im­prove the qual­ity and ef­fec­tive­ness of so­cial se­cu­rity ad­min­is­tra­tion. Zim­babwe was ad­mit­ted as the eighth mem­ber of ECASSA at the be­gin­ning of the year.

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