Home » Governance » Up Social Assistance to the Poor – Minister

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira has challenged African governments to increase social assistance to vulnerable people urgently despite the current global socio-economic challenges. Speaking at the official opening of the 41st African Labour Administration Centre (ARLAC) here yesterday, Minister Mupfumira said owing to depressed economic performance, there was need to put in place vibrant social protection systems.

“Unemployment and poverty rates among women and youths have remained unacceptably high in Africa. These realities have enlarged inequalities and hampered social cohesion and inclusive development.”

She said a large proportion of the employed youths and women in African countries worked in vulnerable conditions with limited access to social security and other labour market interventions that promoted access to decent work.

“It is also critical for African countries to develop mechanisms for harnessing the continent’s lessons and experience to build more appropriate social protection systems.

“It is in this context that effective measures need to be firmly established to ensure a minimum social protection floor.

“Every ARLAC member state must strive to provide social assistance to vulnerable groups, which include people with disabilities, children and people experiencing undue hardships,” she said.

She said the ARLAC meeting was important to Zimbabwe as it would contribute to the strengthening of institutions such as the National Social Security Authority in terms of their sustainability and the benefits they guaranteed to pensioners, the injured and the surviving spouses and children, among others.

She said there was need to find effective ways of extending NSSA schemes to the informal economy where most workers are.

International Labour Organisation director Vic van Vuuren said there was need for governments to come up with legislation and regulations to deal with employment issues.

“We need to engage through national social dialogues and agree on social paths that will create decent jobs and allocate policy.

“Social dialogue cannot be restricted to wages and conditions of service only. In emerging economies, this is going to be a political and economic imperative if positive economic growth is to be sustained,” he said.

The meeting was devoted to a high level policy dialogue between Government officials and experts and officials from the ILO as well as East and Central Africa Social Security Association.

Source : The Herald