The principals to the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) have agreed to confront Finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa over his plans to place the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) under the regulation of the Insurance Pensions Commission (Ipec).
By Christopher Mahove
ZCTU secretary general, Japhet Moyo, revealed that the TNF partners, with government represented by the minister of Labour, had agreed during an urgent meeting that there was no way NSSA could fall under the Ministry of Finance.
The minister of Public Services, Labour and Social Welfare, Nicholas Goche, had called an urgent TNF meeting on Thursday to discuss the proposed plan by Chinamasa.
“We agreed that the social partners have to approach Chinamasa and impress upon him that NSSA is a product of social dialogue which is administered by ILO Conventions and that there is no way it should fall under the Ministry of Finance,” Moyo said.
He said the social partners were also not happy that Chinamasa had proceeded with his plans without formally discussing the issue with the parent minister, in this case Goche.
“Goche was saying that he did not have anything on his desk from Chinamasa and therefore it was difficult to respond. We however, said we should be proactive and tell him that we are not happy with NSSA coming under private pension schemes,” Moyo said.
He said globally, social protection was predominantly a labour issue and not a finance issue, adding that the Ministry of Labour was “properly” administering the nine branches of social protection.
The nine branches of social protection are access to medical care, sickness, unemployment, old age benefit, employment injury, family benefit, invalidity benefit and survivor’s benefit.
Moyo said labour had opposed the move since it was mooted in 2013 saying several attempts to get Ipec to submit the proposed amendments did not yield any results, only for the Ministry of Finance to email its principles and amendments to the Pensions and Provident Fund Act.
The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Ngoni Masoka last week said he could only respond to questions in writing, but had not done so by yesterday.
Chinamasa early this month revealed that government was proposing a raft of amendments to the country’s insurance and pension legislation, which would see the Ipec regulating NSSA.