LEGISLATORS have rapped government’s lack of commitment towards labour law reforms following its failure to allocate any budgetary support to speed up the programme.
SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER
Members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare were on Wednesday told by Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare secretary Ngoni Masoka that no cash was allocated for labour reforms.
According to Masoka, the ministry had bid for an amount of
$100 000 to go towards financing labour reforms, but not even a cent was allocated.
“The labour reforms were not allocated any funds,” Masoka said.
“Implications are that it will affect carrying out of consultations on the draft Bill, workshops and printing and packaging of the draft Bill for approval.”
Masoka, however, said there was light at the end of the tunnel as Cabinet had last week approved the principles of labour law reforms.
“We have just written to the Attorney-General for the Bill to be drafted and that is the achievement that has been done with the document. Creating social partnerships has now been approved by Cabinet. The Bill will later come before Parliament and the process has already started. It is the same with the tripartite negotiating forum, we are going to be taking the principles to Cabinet for approval,” he said.
Mufakose MP Paurina Mpariwa said as long as there were no resources allocated towards labour law reforms, it would be difficult to achieve social dialogue.
“There is need for seriousness. That is why we end up with ghost workers. Let us fight hard so that there is movement in labour law reforms,” Mpariwa said.
Social dialogue pursued under the tripartite negotiating forum was allocated $150 000 instead of the required $170 000.
“The approved budget for social dialogue is 88% of the ideal budget. Social dialogue is important to facilitate co-ordination, monitoring and evaluation of national economic policy implementation. There is need to carry out social partners’ meetings and to publicise the Kadoma declaration and Tripartite Negotiation Forum legislation, as well as establishment of TNF secretariat,” Masoka said.