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Social security a basic human right – NondeBy Mirriam Chabala on 22 Apr 2017
Minister of Labour and Social Security Joyce Nonde Simukoko has asked all employers, including those in the informal sector to register their employees with the National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA).
Speaking during the launch of eNAPSA initiative at the NAPSA Head offices in Lusaka today, Simukoko said social security was not a privilege but a basic human right which every employee was entitled to, regardless of the type of work they did.
She observed that most people who worked in the informal sector were not covered by NAPSA even though they outnumbered those working in the formal sector.
“The extension of social security coverage to the informal sector is the way to go for us as a country because social security for all is somewhat being hampered by the structure of the schemes which are mainly targeted at those in the formal sector, leaving out those in the informal sector, who in fact make up the bigger number. It is for this reason that we are currently undertaking reforms to make sure that we provide the necessary legal framework to achieve our objective of providing social security to all including those in the informal sector.”
“It is sad to note that after fifty two years of independence, we have only managed to register about 1 million members countrywide against the potential 5.8 million people who are eligible. Ladies and gentlemen, most of these people who are not registered work in the informal sector and I would like to state that the current coverage is very low and very sad. I therefore want to implore the people entrusted with the responsibility and privilege of implementing social and managing security policies and institutions to ensure that you do not misuse or abuse this privilege, but rather apply your energies to ensuring that you protect our people from misery,” Simukoko noted
She expressed confidence in the formation of the eNAPSA initiative saying it would enforce compliance among members and the implementers and as well as extend coverage to more people.
“The implementation of e-NAPSA can transform pension administration in Zambia and the region. As Government, we would like to see similar initiatives implemented by other pension houses in a bid to improve service delivery. This e-NAPSA and other innovations that NAPSA has implemented will help the Authority to overcome some of the barriers that it faces in its effort to enforce compliance and extend coverage to more people. As Government, we are committed to providing an enabling economic, legal and political environment to enable you achieve your objectives,” said Simukoko
Meanwhile, NAPSA Director General Yollard Kashinda explained that the e-NAPSA system which had been launched along with five new incentives aimed at complimenting the platform, would enhance service delivery and efficiency in the system.
“Alongside the launch of the eNAPSA, we have also launched five new incentives that will compliment the eNAPSA platform and these include; my NAPSA mobile application on all smart phones. The USSD code *677# accessible on all phones even without Internet, an incentive of sms alerts to all members and employees, the call center equipped with various communication tools such as online chart , toll free line (677) an email and also an extension of coverage to informal sector including domestic workers and tax and bus drivers,” said Kashinda.
“Through this system, employers can register their employees, file monthly returns and make payment for statutory NAPSA contributions. Employees on the other hand can use eNAPSA to check their details as we keep track of their contributions and benefits information.”
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
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