President Lungu directs Labour Ministry to Extend Minimum Wage to All Sectors

President Edgar Lungu has directed the Ministry Of Labour and Social Security to extend sector-based minimum wages to other sectors in the country in order to protect the rights of vulnerable categories of employees.

President Lungu told Minister of Labour Joyce Nonde-Simukoko to further expedite the process of coming up with the sector minimum wages.

ZANIS reports that the Head of State gave the directive during the commemoration of the 2021 International Labour Day in Lusaka held at Mulungushi International Conference Center under the theme “Promoting Industrialisation through Productivity, Decent Work and Sustainable Economic Growth amidst Covid 19” is expedited.

President Lungu said his government has continued putting in place sector based minimum wages to protect the rights of vulnerable categories of employees, as demonstrated on 18th December, 2020, when government issued the minimum wages and conditions of employment for truck and bus drivers to regulate the terms and conditions of service for them.

“There are still other sectors that need to be considered. I, therefore, wish to direct the minister of labour and social security to ensure that the process of coming up with the sector minimum wages is expedited,” said President Lungu.

President Lungu at the labour Day Celebrations with Labour Minister Joyce Simukoko, with Former President Ruphia Banda and PF SG Davies Mwila

President Lungu, who led the Labour Day celebrants in observing a minute of silence for workers that had died due to Covid 19, said government has prioritised interventions aimed at supporting enterprises, safeguarding jobs and creating creation.

He said his administration has developed covid-19 workplace safety and health guidelines to reduce workers’ risk of exposure to covid-19 at the workplace.

President Lungu said government has devised social protection interventions with support from the cooperating partners, such as the Covid-19 emergency cash transfer programme targeting 38,000 households in 20 districts.

He disclosed that the National Pension Scheme Authority has registered 37,142 informal sector employees following the issuance of statutory instrument no. 72 of 2019, aimed at extending social protection to the informal sector.

President Lungu said the 2021 Labour Day theme emphasizes the need for the country to remain resilient to the shocks arising from the covid-19 pandemic and embark on economic recovery through industrialisation and productivity.

He said in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic, embarking on massive infrastructure development is one way of creating jobs for Zambians.

Labour Day Celebrations
Labour Day Celebrations

The Head of State said since 2020, a total of six industrial yards have been completed in Chipata, Kasama, Solwezi, Ndola, Mongu and Kitwe out of the 8 yards earmarked for construction.

The President pointed out that the Lusaka traffic decongestion project has created over 1,000 jobs and that more jobs have been created for Zambians construction of roads, bridges, schools, universities, hospitals and other infrastructure.

He pointed out that Zambia can never develop without a productive human resource as it is the country’s greatest asset.

President Lungu called on Zambians to work hard and help develop the country, stating that the national productivity policy launched in March, 2021 will help the country achieve economic prosperity and improve the standard of living.

The President noted that investments for enterprises in the multi-facility economic zones (mfez) and industrial parks increased from US$ 2.3 billion in 2019 to US$ 2.9 billion in 2020 with participating numbers of enterprises rose from 123 in 2019 to 128 in 2020, creating an estimated 14,775 jobs in 2019 to 16,676 in 2020.

President Lungu also disclosed that government has created 5,237 jobs under the Lake Tanganyika project through a covid-19 relief package of US$ 200,000 and further provided employment opportunities to 93,44 out of the targeted 150,000 of which 49 per cent are females.

He said 37,500 vulnerable women have income at household through the empowerment of over 2,500 women cooperatives countrywide with various agricultural and value addition equipment.

President Lungu urged the labour movement and employers to work together to improve the welfare of workers in the country by ensuring that deserving workers are rewarded.

The Head of State presented awards to Amadeus Mukobe for being the most hardworking civil servant with 33 years of service, while Zambia Revenue Authority’s Marko Sikalumbi and Professor Yakub Mulla were also awarded from quasi government and the private sector.

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