‘Make NSSA board more worker-oriented’

WORKERS’ representatives yesterday pleaded with Parliament to amend the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) Act to clip board members’ wings saying they were “too influential” in determining investment portfolios by the organisation.

VENERANDA LANGA

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, represented by its president George Nkiwane and health and safety officer Nathan Banda, as well as the Public Service Association, represented by its president Cecilia Alexander and chief executive officer Emmanuel Tichareva, appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and unanimously called for a revamp of the Act to give workers an influential role.

Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions president Jacob Gwavava said the whole NSSA board should be revamped and replaced with a board dominated by workers.

Alexander told the committee that during her tenure as NSSA board member representing workers between 2010 and 2013, only three members represented workers, resulting in investment decisions such as investing at Joina City and Renaissance Bank being dominated by employers.

“The board has also been resisting increases in benefits and in January 2013 the Minister of Public Service agreed to adjustments of NSSA benefits, but the decision was reversed by the board,” said Alexander.

Nkiwane said a NSSA forensic audit was imperative, adding amendments to the NSSA Act should ensure there was allowance for consultation of workers before investment decisions were made.

Gwavava accused NSSA board members of failing to ensure that workers employed by indigenous and Chinese companies joined the social security scheme.

“Our proposal is that the age of retirement should be reduced from 65 years to 55 years, that the amounts benefited be increased from $60 to $150 and that NSSA should be bailing out distressed industries and assist low-income workers to get houses,” said Gwavava.

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5 Comments

  1. Retirement ages for NSSA pensioners are 60 years for ordinary employment and 55 years for odious jobs such as general agricultural work. NSSA BOARD has equal reps from workers (3), employers(3) Gvt(3). ZCTU has been on the BOARD since NSSA started. Problems at NSSA are a result of failure by all representatives on the board. Gvt directives e.g. Beit-Bridge Hotel construction for 2010 World Cup, funding for referendum + elections (and the role and directives of the State Procurement Board )are some of the issues that worker representatives on the board should have resisted as these are were clearly not NSSA core business. You can’t have all workers participating in coming up with board decisions. If the employee reps are out-muscled by the other two sectors then they should clearly state that this is the case and be replaced. Some of these worker reps are also corrupt and they can only be allowed to dominate the NSSA board at our peril.

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  2. NSSA was formed by govt as a way for raising funds cheaply and the interest of the employee is secondary. The board which made up of cronies,is appointed by the minister. The projects/investments undertaken are not employee interests oriented but the minister via his cronies

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