Government has expressed worry over the absence of social security coverage for workers in the informal sector saying they are left with no means to lifecycle risks.
In a speech read on her behalf at the recently ended East and Central Africa Social Security Association (ECASA) meeting held in Victoria Falls, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Petronella Kagonye said as more people are moving into the informal sector, the social security sector needs to take advantage and tap into that.
” It is important to note that due to the changes in the economic dynamics the world over and particularly in Africa, more and more people are moving into the informal economy where they are thriving and contributing to the development of their respective economies.
“However, the absence of social security coverage for the workforce in the informal economy remains a cause for great concern as it leaves them with no means to manage life cycles.
“The situation in most countries is that existing schemes cover workers in the public sector and workers in the private sector on regular contracts, the majority of such workers, such as temporary, agricultural, domestic, informal and migrant workers are excluded from social security coverage,” said Kagonye.
She added that due to low participation of women in formal employment, their social insurance coverage is also lower hence leaving them exposed and vulnerable.
Zimbabwe has one of the leading and worst numbers of unemployed and informally employed people.
In this regard, Kagonye emphasized the need for ECASA members to come up with effective strategies for extending social security coverage to the vulnerable and neglected sector, especially in order to ensure that women’s vulnerability is reduced.
She, however, assured that Zimbabwe has taken great strides in ensuring that social security coverage is extended to the informal economy.
NSSA is currently working on the modalities of introducing a voluntary social security scheme which is tailored to benefit employees in the informal economy.
NSSA Acting Board Chairperson, Daphine Tomana added that social security is a human right and it is incumbent upon social security associations to give assurance to the government, stakeholders and the populace that they can deliver
The ECASA delegates meeting was attended by member states drawn from eight countries