President Edgar Lungu says Government will this year pilot the Simplified Registration System aimed at formalising entrepreneurs in the informal economy in order to help boost their incomes to meet various household needs.
President Lungu said that a baseline survey on the prevailing minimum wages in the various sectors has been done and will help in the revision and determination of the minimum wage for among others domestic, shop workers and general workers.
The Head of State has since directed the Minister of Labour and Social Security and Social Partners to expedite the revision of the minimum wages as quickly as possible.
Speaking when he graced this year’s Labour Day celebrations, President Lungu said that the PF Administration has an ambitious 7NDP for the period 2017 to 2021 to enhance creation of decent job opportunities in Zambia.
President Lungu said government has put in place a number of strategic interventions such as the development of value chains to support young entrepreneurs in both urban and rural areas to add value to local products.
Mr Lungu said government has been providing women and youth led projects with technical and financial support to boost their businesses and will continue to do so to facilitate industrialization, economic diversification and job creation.
The Head of State cited the Mumbwa Ginnery project which has created over 24 thousand jobs as well as the CEEC funded soya processing plant in kasama which was operationalized in 2017and has since created over 1,000 jobs for the farmers who are growing soya beans.
President Lungu said the Nakonde milling plant which is now the largest milling company in Muchinga province is another success story under the value chain programme which has also created over 1, 000 jobs for farmers.
President Lungu said 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.
The President said government is implementing the work based learning programme for youths and school leavers to smoothen the transition from school to work life through internships and apprenticeships.
Mr Lungu said that this years’ Labour Day theme of “building partnerships for sustainable national development through decent job creation and social justice” places emphasis on the need for workers, employers and government to collaborate through strong ties and linkages.
Mr Lungu said there is need for the country to recognize the sacrifices being made by low income earners in the country and ensure that their potential is harnessed to help contribute to the sustainable development of the country.
President Lungu pointed out that the marketeer in Sioma, salon owner in Kaputa, nurse in Serenje , miner in Maamba and others all need special recognition due to their immense contribution to the national development.
The head of state said government places great emphasis on the need to strengthen partnerships and synergies which will help foster the creation of decent jobs to support national development.
He said Government, the labour movement and private sector need each other to tackle unemployment and poverty levels by growing the economy and providing decent jobs.
President Lungu has since assured of government’s commitment to realise and safeguard the actualization of policies and programmes aimed at creating an enabling environment to achieve partnerships for economic growth and job creation.
President Lungu said government will continue to develop an inclusive and participatory community atmosphere at work in line with the 8th goal of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, on creation of decent jobs for our people in order to protect jobs and promote social protection of workers.
He said government is working with its cooperating partners to develop a policy on occupational safety, health and wellness and several legislative reforms have been undertaken in the employment and labour sectors aimed at harmonizing and modernizing the various laws .
President Lungu challenged the labour movement to effectively execute its role in ensuring that workers’ rights are protected without compromise while educating the membership to also play their part in enhancing productivity.