Informal sector formalisation on cards: Govt

Source: Informal sector formalisation on cards: Govt –Newsday Zimbabwe

Public Service deputy minister Mercy Dinha

PUBLIC Service deputy minister Mercy Dinha says government is taking a multi-pronged approach to formalise the informal sector and address the challenges faced by its workforce.

She was responding to Zanu PF Bikita South legislator, Energy Mutodi, who wrote to the minister requesting information on plans to improve job quality in Zimbabwe.

“Informality remains an obstacle to decent work for all,” she said.

“Workers in the informal economy experience most severe decent work deficit such as limited access to social and labour protection and unsafe working conditions without social security.”

There are no exact statistics on the number of Zimbabweans in the informal sector.

However, millions including the formally employed are engaged in informal sector activities to make ends meet under the country’s harsh economic environment.

According to some estimates, Zimbabwe is home to one of the largest informal economies hosting about three-quarters of the country’s workforce.

Dinha said her ministry was developing a national strategy “to facilitate the transition of workers and economic units from the informal to the formal economy, while respecting workers’ fundamental rights and ensuring opportunities for income security, livelihoods and entrepreneurship”.

The policy sought to promote the creation, preservation and sustainability of enterprises and descent jobs in the formal and informal sectors.

“There is also social security coverage for the informal sector,” she said.

“The quality of existing jobs can be improved by expanding the coverage of social insurance in the informal economy.”

“This contributes highly to promoting decent work within the informal sector.”

According to Dinha, the National Social Security Authority is also developing an informal sector scheme to extend coverage to the informal sector, a segment government hopes to generate serious revenue from.

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