I want decent pay for Workers – Lungu

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Besa Mumba and Kalenga Kamwendo with President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and Labour Minister Joyce Nonde-Simukoko during the Labour Day Commemorations at Freedom Statue in Lusaka on Tuesday,May 1,2018. The two pilots were recipients of the Presidential Labour Awards. Picture by Salim Henry

President Edgar Lungu has directed the Minister of Labour to speed up the process of revising the minimum wage saying this would enable workers to have decent pay and provide food for their families.

Addressing workers in Lusaka today, May 1, 2018 to commemorate Labour Day, President Lungu said in an effort to create more jobs, his government will continue promoting value addition.

President Lungu says government is also promoting the growth of cooperatives in various sectors of the economy.

The Head of State said some companies that have been funded by Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) are doing well in various rural parts of Zambia and have since created employment.

Below is the speech delivered by President Lungu:

 

• YOUR EXCELLENCY, DR. KENNETH DAVID KAUNDA, THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA;

• YOUR EXCELLENCY, MR. RUPIAH BWEZANI BANDA, THE FOURTH PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA;

• THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE PATRIOTIC FRONT, MR. DAVIES MWILA;

• YOUR LADYSHIP, MADAM IREEN MAMBILIMA, THE CHIEF JUSTICE;

• THE HONOURABLE, DR. PATRICK MATIBINI, SC, SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY;

• MEMBERS OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE PATRIOTIC FRONT;

• THE HOST MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL SECURITY, HONOURABLE, MRS. JOYCE NONDE-SIMUKOKO, MP;

• HONOURABLE CABINET MINISTERS;

• THE SECRETARY TO THE CABINET, DR. ROLAND MSISKA;

• YOUR WORSHIP THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF LUSAKA, MR. WILSON KALUMBA;

• HONOURABLE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT;
• SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS;

• MEMBERS OF THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS;

• LEADERS OF POLITICAL PARTIES PRESENT;

• THE UNITED NATIONS RESIDENT COORDINATOR, MS. JANET ROGAN;

• THE INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION COUNTRY DIRECTOR FOR MALAWI, MOZAMBIQUE AND ZAMBIA, MR. ALEXIO MUSINDO;

• THE PRESIDENT, ZAMBIA FEDERATION OF EMPLOYERS, MR. WESLEY CHISHIMBA;

• THE PRESIDENT, ZAMBIA CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS, MR. CHISHIMBA NKOLE;

• THE PRESIDENT, FEDERATION OF FREE TRADE UNIONS OF ZAMBIA, MR. CHINGATI MSISKA;

• THE ACTING PRESIDENT, CONFEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS OF ZAMBIA, MR. JAMES CHANSA;

• EMPLOYERS AND FELLOW WORKERS;

• DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

I AM HAPPY TO JOIN YOU AND THE REST OF THE WORKERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN OBSERVING THIS MOMENTOUS LABOUR DAY OCCASION WHICH DATES BACK TO THE EARLY 19TH CENTURY. I, ALSO, COMMEND ALL OF YOU FOR THE CREATIVITY DISPLAYED IN THE MARCH PAST WHICH I HAVE ENJOYED WATCHING.

AS A NATION, ON THIS SPECIAL DAY, WE ARE RECOGNISING THE SACRIFICES MADE BY THAT MARKETEER IN SIOMA, THAT SALON OWNER IN KAPUTA, THAT NURSE IN SERENJE AND THAT MINER IN MAAMBA, AMONG MANY OTHER WORKERS. COLLECTIVELY, THE WORKERS IN VARIOUS SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY CONTINUE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF OUR COUNTRY.

THIS YEAR’S LABOUR DAY COMES AT AN OPPORTUNE TIME WHEN, AS GOVERNMENT, WE HAVE PLACED GREAT EMPHASIS ON THE NEED TO STRENGTHEN PARTNERSHIPS AND SYNERGIES WHICH FOSTER THE CREATION OF DECENT JOBS THEREBY SUPPORTIG NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT.

OUR ASPIRATIONS THEREFORE, FIT IN WELL WITH THE THEME FOR THIS YEAR’S LABOUR DAY CELEBRATION WHICH IS “BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH DECENT JOB CREATION AND SOCIAL JUSTICE.”

TODAY’S THEME EMPHASISES THE IMPORTANCE OF WORKING TOGETHER AMONG WORKERS, EMPLOYERS AND GOVERNMENT IN OUR QUEST TO CREATE AN INCLUSIVE AND PARTICIPATORY COMMUNITY OF WORK. ECONOMIC GROWTH THAT GENERATES DECENT JOBS AND GUARANTEES SOCIAL JUSTICE CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED, IF THERE ARE STRONG TIES, LINKAGES AND PARTNERSHIPS AMONGST ALL STAKEHOLDERS.

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS; 
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

MUTUAL TRUST, RESPECT AND COMMITMENT ARE PREREQUISITES AND BUILDING BLOCKS FOR HEALTHY PARTNERSHIPS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO SUSTAINABLE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND FAIR DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH. WE ALL HAVE AN IMPORTANT ROLE TO PLAY.

WITHOUT THE PRIVATE SECTOR AS AN ENGINE TO DRIVE AND GROW OUR ECONOMY, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO IMPROVE THE LIVING STANDARDS OF OUR PEOPLE.

WITHOUT THE LABOUR MOVEMENT AS THE OIL TO ENSURE A SMOOTH INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ENVIRONMENT, INDUSTRY CANNOT GROW AND PROVIDE DECENT JOBS AND TAKE INTO ACCOUNT ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL NEEDS.

WITHOUT GOVERNMENT PROVIDING THE ENABLING ENVIRONMENT, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR INDUSTRY TO THRIVE AND FOR PARTNERSHIPS TO BE CREATED. AS A ZAMBIAN PROVERB SAYS “MUNWE OMWE TAUPWAYI NGINA” MEANING “ONE FINGER CANNOT KILL LICE.”

ACCORDINGLY, LET ME REITERATE YOUR GOVERNMENT’S COMMITMENT TO ENSURING ACTUALISATION OF POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES AIMED AT CREATING AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT FOR ACHIEVING THIS THEME.

FELLOW WORKERS, 
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
THE 8TH GOAL OF THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, ON CREATION OF DECENT JOBS FOR OUR PEOPLE REQUIRES THAT WE GUARANTEE RIGHTS AT WORK, PROMOTE SOCIAL DIALOGUE, PROVIDE SOCIAL PROTECTION AND CREATE EMPLOYMENT. ATTAINING THEIR FULL POTENTIAL DEPENDS ON SEVERAL FACTORS INCLUDING THE CREATION OF STRONG PARTNERSHIPS AND INCLUSIVENESS IN THE MANAGEMENT OF OUR NATIONAL LABOUR MARKET.

IT IS FOR THIS REASON FELLOW WORKERS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN THAT YOUR GOVERNMENT ENDEAVOURS TO CONTINUE TO DEVELOP AN INCLUSIVE AND MORE PARTICIPATORY COMMUNITY OF WORK, REPRESENTED BY ITS TRIPARTITE CONSTITUENTS, NAMELY THE GOVERNMENT, EMPLOYERS AND WORKERS. THIS INCLUSIVE APPROACH SHOULD, IN AN INTEGRATED MANNER, ENCOMPASS ALL STAKEHOLDERS IN BOTH RURAL AND URBAN AREAS IN ORDER TO BRIDGE THE INEQUALITIES, ENSURING THAT NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND.

GOVERNMENT IS ALIVE TO THE FACT THAT A LARGE PART OF OUR LABOUR FORCE IS EARNING A LIVING FROM THE INFORMAL ECONOMY. I WISH TO APPLAUD THESE ZAMBIANS WORKING AT SMALL SCALE LEVEL- FROM NEWSPAPER VENDORS TO MARKETEERS, CARPENTERS, WELDERS, TRANSPORTERS, SMALL-SCALE FARMERS AND CROSS-BORDER TRADERS, AMONGESY OTHERS. I APPLAUD THEM BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN THE PRINCIPLE OF “NEVER DESPISE THE DAYS OF SMALL BEGINNINGS”.

FELLOW WORKERS, 
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
I AM ALSO AWARE THAT THE OVERALL CONTRIBUTION OF THIS SECTOR IS NOT PROPORTIONATE TO THE POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTION IT COULD MAKE TO THE NATIONAL ECONOMY. THEREFORE, MUCH NEEDS TO BE DONE TO HARNESS THIS POTENTIAL THROUGH IMPROVING THE WELL-BEING OF THE WORKFORCE. ONCE HARNESSED, THIS INFORMAL ECONOMY WILL BE BETTER MANAGED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE NATIONAL GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT.

THE UNDESIRABLE LEVELS OF POVERTY, COUPLED WITH UNEMPLOYMENT AND OTHER SOCIAL CHALLENGES REQUIRE MORE WORK FOR US TO OVERCOME. THE CHALLENGES INVOLVED IN CREATING DECENT JOBS IN THE 21ST CENTURY AND THE CURRENT GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT ARE ENORMOUS AND SHOULD BE TACKLED THROUGH STRONG PARTNERSHIPS THAT MEET TODAY’S NEEDS AND ADDRESS PROBLEMS WITHOUT COMPROMISING FUTURE NEEDS.

GOVERNMENT WILL THIS YEAR PILOT THE SIMPLIFIED REGISTRATION SYSTEM AIMED AT FORMALISING ENTERPRENEURS IN THE FORMAL ECONOMY AND THIS DEMONSTRATES OUR COMMITMENT TO FACILITATING THE FORMALISATION OF THE INFORMAL ECONOMY.

GOVERNMENT IS AWARE OF THE NEED FOR MORE DISPOSABLE INCOME TO ENABLE YOU, OUR PEOPLE PUT FOOD ON YOUR TABLES AND MEET VARIOUS OTHER FAMILY NEEDS.

FELLOW WORKERS, 
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
WE ARE AWARE THAT WORKERS ESPECIALLY THOSE IN THE LOWER INCOME BRACKET ARE STRUGGLING TO AFFORD BASIC NECESSITIES.

IN OUR QUEST TO ENSURE THAT WORKERS HAVE DECENT WAGES, I AM DELIGHTED TO REPORT THAT A BASELINE SURVEY ON THE PREVAILING MINIMUM WAGES IN THE VARIOUS SECTORS HAS BEEN DONE. THIS WILL HELP IN THE REVISION OF THE DOMESTIC, SHOP WORKERS AND GENERAL ORDERS AS WELL AS THE DETERMINATION OF MINIMUM WAGES FOR SELECTED SECTORS. BEFORE THEIR IMPLEMENTATION, WE WILL ENSURE THAT OUR SOCIAL PARTNERS ARE FULLY CONSULTED.

I, THEREFORE, DIRECT THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL SECURITY AND THE SOCIAL PARTNERS TO EXPEDITE THE PROCESS SO THAT WE HAVE REVISED MINIMUM WAGES IN THE SOONEST POSSIBLE TIME.

THE PF GOVERNMENT HAS AN AMBITIOUS 7TH NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR THE PERIOD 2017 TO 2021 TO ENHANCE DECENT JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN THE ZAMBIAN ECONOMY THROUGH THE FOLLOWING: 
1. THE PROMOTION OF INDUSTRIALISATION;
2. FACILITATION OF MICRO, SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE ENTERPRISES;
3. DEVELOPMENT OF COOPERATIVES; 
4. INCREASING EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN RURAL AREAS; AND 
5. PROMOTION OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP SKILLS DEVELOPMENT.

FELLOW WORKERS, 
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THESE GOALS, GOVERNMENT HAS PUT IN PLACE A NUMBER OF STRATEGIC INTERVENTIONS. NOTABLE INTERVENTIONS INCLUDE THE VALUE CHAIN DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME WHICH SUPPORTS YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS IN BOTH URBAN AND RURAL AREAS TO ADD VALUE TO LOCAL PRODUCTS.

THROUGH THIS PROGRAMME, GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN PROVIDING WOMEN AND YOUTH LED PROJECTS WITH TECHNICAL AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO BOOST THEIR BUSINESSES. WE ARE COMMITTED TO CONTINUE WITH THESE PROJECTS TO FACILITATE INDUSTRIALISATION, ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION AND JOB CREATION. ONE SUCH PROJECT IS THE MUMBWA GINNERY WHICH HAS CREATED OVER 24 THOUSAND JOBS.

ANOTHER PROJECT WHICH HAS BEEN FUNDED USING THE CITIZENS ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT FUND IS THE REGTECH SOYA PROCESSING PLANT IN KASAMA WHICH WAS OPERATIONALISED IN 2017 CREATING OVER 1000 JOBS FOR THE FARMERS WHO ARE GROWING SOYA BEANS.

THE NAKONDE MILLING PLANT WHICH IS NOW THE LARGEST MILLING COMPANY IN MUCHINGA PROVINCE IS ANOTHER SUCCESS STORY UNDER THE VALUE CHAIN PROGRAMME. THIS PROJECT HAS ALSO CREATED OVER 1000 JOBS TO OUR FARMERS.

FELLOW WORKERS, 
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
IN ADDITION TO THE INTERVENTIONS, GOVERNMENT IS VIGOROUSLY PROMOTING THE GROWTH OF COOPERATIVES AS A BUSINESS MODEL AND EXPANDING THEIR SCOPE BEYOND AGRICULTURE INTO OTHER GROWTH SECTORS SUCH AS MANUFACTURING, TOURISM AND FINANCIAL SERVICES.

I THEREFORE, URGE YOU ALL, ESPECIALLY, WOMEN AND YOUTHS TO ORGANISE YOURSELVES INTO COOPERATIVES TO GENERATE SUFFICIENT PRODUCTS TO SUSTAIN YOUR BUSINESSES. AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO YOUR BUSINESS EFFORTS ULTIMATELY PRODUCES GREATER YIELDS.

LET ME NOW FOCUS ON GOVERNMENT’S EFFORTS TOWARDS YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMMES AIMED AT EQUIPPING THEM WITH ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND OTHER LIFE SKILLS TRAINING.

GOVERNMENT IS IMPLEMENTING THE WORK BASED LEARNING PROGRAMME INTENDED TO SMOOTHEN THE TRANSITION FROM SCHOOL TO WORK LIFE THROUGH INTERNSHIPS AND APPRENTICESHIPS. THIS WILL AFFORD OUR YOUTH THE NECESSARY WORK EXPERIENCE FOR INTEGRATION INTO THE WORK ENVIRONMENT.

WHILE WE HAVE CONTINUED TO PRIORITISE THE CREATION OF EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES, IT IS OUR DESIRE TO ENSURE THAT THE JOBS BEING CREATED ARE DECENT.

FELLOW WORKERS, 
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
BY DECENT WORK WE MEAN THAT JOBS CREATED SHOULD BE CHARACTERISED BY THE FOLLOWING STRATEGIC PILLARS;
1. ENSURE THAT WORKERS HAVE SOCIAL SECURITY COVERAGE;
2. WORKERS ENJOY THEIR RIGHTS AT WORK; AND
3. WORKERS HAVE SOCIAL DIALOGUE MECHANISMS AT THEIR DISPOSALS.

THIS ENTAILS CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR WORK THAT IS PRODUCTIVE AND DELIVERS A FAIR INCOME, PROVIDES SECURITY IN THE WORKPLACE AND SOCIAL PROTECTION FOR WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES. MOREOVER, OPPORTUNITIES THAT GIVE PEOPLE THE FREEDOM TO EXPRESS THEIR CONCERNS, TO ORGANISE AND TO PARTICIPATE IN DECISIONS THAT AFFECT THEIR LIVES. GOVERNMENT POLICIES ARE THEREFORE, DRIVEN BY THE DESIRE TO ATTAIN THESE CONDITIONS.

YOUR GOVERNMENT WILL CONTINUE INVESTING IN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL PROTECTION BECAUSE WE UNDERSTAND THAT AS A COUNTRY WE CANNOT HAVE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT ADDRESSING PEOPLE’S VULNERABILITY.

OUR WORKERS DESERVE TO WORK IN SAFE AND HEALTHY CONDITIONS. NO WORKER SHOULD INCUR INJURY, ILLNESS OR INDEED LOSE LIFE AT WORK OUT OF NEGLIEGENCE OF ONE FORM OR ANOTHER.

FELLOW WORKERS, 
IT IS UNFORTUNATE WHEN SUCH CONDITIONS CONTINUE TO OCCUR, CREATING AN UNSAFE WORKING ENVIRONMENT WHICH IS CONTRARY TO WORKERS’ RIGHT TO A HUMANE AND DIGNIFIED LIFE.

IN THIS REGARD, YOUR GOVERNMENT IS WORKING WITH ITS COOPERATING PARTNERS TO DEVELOP A POLICY ON OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY, HEALTH AND WELLNESS. THIS MOVE WILL RESULT IN PRIORITISING THE ATTAINMENT OF ZERO ACCIDENTS AND DISEASES AT WORK PLACES.

YOUR GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN UNDERTAKING LEGISLATIVE REFORMS IN THE EMPLOYMENT AND LABOUR SECTORS AIMED AT HARMONISING AND MODERNISING THE VARIOUS LAWS. THESE REFORMS WILL PLAY A POSITIVE ROLE IN PROTECTING RIGHTS AT WORK, EMPLOYMENT AND ECONOMIC GROWTH AND IMPROVING LABOUR MARKET PERFORMANCE.

I AM HAPPY TO REPORT THAT THIS PROCESS HAS REACHED AN ADVANCED STAGE AND THE “LABOUR CODE” IS USUALLY A COLLECTIVE TERM THAT COVERS ALL LABOUR LEGISLATION. LET ME TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS MY GRATITUDE TO OUR SOCIAL PARTNERS THAT SUPPORTED AND INDEED PARTICIPATED IN THE FORMULATION OF THESE BILLS.

GOVERNMENT HAS MADE MAJOR STRIDES IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE EMPLOYMENT (AMENDMENT) ACT NUMBER 15 OF 2015.

THIS AMENDMENT INTRODUCED A NUMBER OF SAFEGUARDS FOR THE PROTECTION OF EMPLOYEES. THE ACT GUARDS AGAINST UNWARRANTED CASUALISATION OF LABOUR, DISMISSING EMPLOYEES AT WILL, AMONGEST OTHER ABUSES.

I AM GLAD TO REPORT THAT LABOUR INSPECTIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY HAVE INTENSIFIED AND IT HAS BEEN OBSERVED THAT A GOOD NUMBER OF EMPLOYERS ARE COMPLYING. WE ARE, HOWEVER, AWARE THAT SOME EMPLOYERS ARE NON-COMPLIANT AND LET ME URGE OUR SOCIAL PARTNERS PARTICULARLY THE EMPLOYERS WHO ARE NOT COMPLIANT TO DESIST FROM FLOUTING THE LABOUR LAWS. THOSE FOUND WANTING WILL HAVE TO FACE THE TEMERITY OF THE LAW.

MANAGEMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN LIGHTLY, AS ANY ORGANISATION’S SUCCESS DEPENDS ON A HEALTHY, QUALIFIED AND READY TO DELIVER PERSONNEL.

IT HAS BEEN NOTED FROM THE LABOUR INSPECTIONS THAT SOME CHALLENGES IN THE “LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT” SECTOR ARE AS A RESULT OF UNSKILLED AND UNQUALIFIED HUMAN RESOURCE PRACTITIONERS.

IN ADDRESSING THIS ISSUE, GOVERNMENT HAS EMBARKED ON INTEGRATED LABOUR INSPECTIONS INVOLVING VARIOUS INSTITUTIONS, INCLUDING THE ZAMBIA INSTITUTE OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT, TO ENSURE THAT ONLY QUALIFIED PRACTITIONERS TAKE UP THE POSITIONS OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT.

FELLOW WORKERS, 
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
I AM CONVINCED THAT, IF QUALIFIED PEOPLE ARE EMPLOYED, MOST OF THE LABOUR DISPUTES IN WORK PLACES WILL REDUCE OR BE ERADICATED COMPLETELY THEREBY ENHANCING INDUSTRIAL HARMONY. THIS IS ONE OF THE PREREQUISITES TO IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY AND ULTIMATELY, CONTRIBUTING TO THE CREATION OF MORE AND BETTER JOBS.

ONE OF THE KEY FUNDAMENTALS IN LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT IS EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION OF RESOURCES AND OPPORTUNITIES. THUS, WEALTH CREATION IS THE ULTIMATE GOAL AND SHOULD BE FIRMLY UNDERPINNED BY THE PRINCIPLES OF SOCIAL JUSTICE.

TO ATTAIN THIS, IT REQUIRES NOT ONLY DELIBERATE EFFORTS OF ENSURING THAT LABOUR HAS A FAIR SHARE OF THE SUBSEQUENT WEALTH BEING CREATED, BUT ALSO THAT THE OWNERS OF THE CAPITAL ARE JUSTLY REWARDED FOR THEIR INVESTMENTS.

IT IS NO DOUBT THEREFORE THAT SOCIAL DIALOGUE IS ONE OF THE KEY FACTORS IN ACHIEVING SOCIAL JUSTICE. THE RIGHT TO BE CONSULTED AND LISTENED TO IN THE WORLD OF WORK, IS INSTRUMENTAL IN MAINTAINING INDUSTRIAL HARMONY. IN THIS REGARD, YOUR GOVERNMENT WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT GENUINE DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE WORKERS, THE EMPLOYERS AND GOVERNMENT.

FELLOW WORKERS, 
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
INCLUSIVENESS IS YET ANOTHER FACTOR IN ACHIEVING SOCIAL JUSTICE. INCLUSIVENESS ENTAILS THAT JOB CREATION INTERVENTIONS ARE IMPLEMENTED EVENLY IN BOTH THE RURAL AND URBAN AREAS, FOR WOMEN AND MEN, ABLE AND DIFFERENTLY ABLED. THIS IS DEMONSTRATED THROUGH VARIOUS GOVERNMENT PROGRAMMES ALLUDED TO EARLIER.

I WISH TO CHALLENGE THE LABOUR MOVEMENT TO EFFECTIVELY EXECUTE THEIR ROLE IN ENSURING THAT WORKERS’ RIGHTS ARE PROTECTED WITHOUT COMPROMISE WHILE EDUCATING THEIR MEMBERSHIP TO ALSO PLAY THEIR PART IN ENSURING PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENTS.

EXPANDING THE COVERAGE OF SOCIAL SECURITY IS ONE OF THE PARAMOUNT GOALS OF GOVERNMENT AS ESPOUSED IN THE SEVENTH NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN. COMPREHENSIVE SOCIAL SECURITY IS AIMED AT ENSURING THAT OUR PEOPLE MAINTAIN DECENT LIVELIHOODS EVEN WHEN THEY ARE OUT OF EMPLOYMENT.

THE OTHER IMPORTANT ROLE OF SOCIAL SECURITY SCHEMES IS THE PRUDENTIAL INVESTMENT OF WORKERS’ CAPITAL IN A MANNER THAT NOT ONLY SECURES WORKERS FUTURE BUT ALSO EFFECTIVELY CONTRIBUTES TO NATIONAL ECONOMIC GROWTH.

AS I CONCLUDE, I WISH TO URGE THE MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL SECURITY AND ALL ITS STAKEHOLDERS INCLUDING EMPLOYERS AND THE TRADE UNIONS TO IMMEDIATELY GET DOWN TO WORK AND ENSURE THAT THE THEME FOR THIS YEAR’S LABOUR DAY BARES FRUIT.

THE LONG TERM BENEFITS OF REALISING THIS THEME, WILL NOT ONLY ACCRUE TO THE WORKERS THROUGH THE CREATION OF DECENT JOBS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE, BUT ALSO TO THE COUNTRY AS A WHOLE, BY ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT WHICH WILL BENEFIT ALL OF US.

TOGETHER, WE CAN ACHIEVE DEVELOPMENT. TOGETHER, WE CAN ACHIEVE PROSPERITY FOR ALL. TOGETHER, WE WILL TRANSFORM OUR COUNTRY.

MAY THE GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY BLESS YOU ALL,

I THANK YOU.

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