Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Socialist Party Criticizes Increase in Minimum Wage, Argues it Will Not Alleviate High Cost of Living in Zambia

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The Socialist Party (SP) in Zambia has raised concerns over the government’s recent decision to increase the minimum wage, arguing that it will not be enough to alleviate the high cost of living faced by many Zambians. SP spokesperson Frank Bwalya criticized the increments recently awarded to civil servants, calling them “a drop in the ocean.” He argued that with high levels of unemployment and many employers in the informal sector being unable to afford the revised wage, many workers will continue to receive low pay.

Mr Bwalya suggested that the only solution is to implement policies that improve the economy, particularly in the private sector. “The reason is very simple that with the joblessness that we have and many people who employ a majority of people in the informal sector not being able to afford to pay the revised minimum wage will simply say to the people that they have employed that I can’t pay you, it’s up to you to stay or to leave,” he said. “And a majority of our people who are usually not represented decide to keep their job, being paid less than the minimum wage. Therefore, the solution to our people getting peanuts is implementing policies that are going to improve the economy, especially the private sector so that when people get good pay will employ people in the informal sector, domestic sectors and so on…when they get better pay, then they will be able to afford paying those that they employ better salaries that will be in line with the minimum wage prescribed by the country.”

Mr Bwalya also argued that socialism is the only way to address economic challenges in the country, as capitalism prioritizes profit over the well-being of workers. “As Socialist Party, we acknowledge the reality that we have a government that is capitalist,” he said. “And people know that capitalism is about greed, it’s about profit maximization, it’s about selfishness, therefore we are not hopeful that our people under the New Dawn Government are going to see better conditions of service for themselves, those that work in the formal sector, domestic workers and so on, we are not optimistic.”

Mr Bwalya explained that socialism is about equity, justice, and the common ownership of means of production, ensuring that people can benefit from economic gains equitably. He emphasized that socialism is not about a few becoming extremely wealthy while the majority are left in poverty. “It’s not about a few becoming too rich while the majority are becoming too poor, having nothing to live on without a dignified life,” he said. “Socialism is about equity, justice, common ownership of means of production and that people can benefit from economic gains equitably. It’s about everyone having a dignified life.”

The revised minimum wage, which is set to take effect in January 2023, will apply to domestic workers, shopkeepers, and general workers, but not unionized employers. The government has stated that it will enforce adherence to the new wage and will take legal action against any employers who fail to comply. In announcing the wage increase, Minister of Labour and Social Security Brenda Tambatamba explained that it followed consultations with the Labour Advisory Committee/Council, tripartite constituencies, and other key stakeholders. She emphasized that the revised minimum wage is only applicable to vulnerable categories of employees and urged employers to adhere to it.

Ms Tambatamba announced that, in accordance with Statutory Instrument Number 69 of the Domestic Workers Order of 2018, the gross pay for domestic workers will increase from K993.60 to K1300.00. In addition, according to Statutory Instrument Number 70 of the Shop Workers Order of 2018, drivers, sales assistants, and packers will earn a gross pay of of K2, 722.57 from K1, 994.40.

16 COMMENTS

    • Why do you employ “maids”? Even mere teachers employ a “garden boy”. I never see that in America.
      Basically you tuma civil servants, you are poor because your salaries go to pay your slaves you call domestic workers.

  1. HH was very smart in opposition but now he is just acting out of pressure and he looks confused….in short HH doesn’t want to create employment for the youths….when the wages are high very few small businesses will be employing….ask HH why companies leave the USA and relocate to China….it’s all because labor is expensive in the USA….and now China has overtaken the USA in terms of economic growth….UPND is a Chipante pante Government

    I think Zambia needs to get rid of all Politicians

  2. This UPND Government is now panicking no wonder they’re just doing things without thinking….
    I have 3 people working on my Property permanently as caretakers but as from January 1st am only keeping one and i will get rid of the remaining 2 ……when Healthcare insurance became mandatory for companies in the USA….alot of companies closed down…when minimum wage was raised alot of companies trimed down their workforce and some of them closed down completely….and China benefited alot became a lot of manufacturing companies relocated to China…..it’s very simple economics and HH calls himself a businessman but he doesn’t understand how the economy works….Trump was against high minimum wage because he wanted to bring back Companies from China back to the USA

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  3. Look who is talking; is the SP not against the private sector?

    And this ‘mother’ Bwalya has contradicted himself throughout…

  4. *****a if you can’t afford to increase salary for your maid convert what you currently pay to how many days you can afford in the current increase so that theaid can earn elsewhere on the days you can’t afford. Stop enslaving people bafikala you causing maids to become savages to get back at you.

  5. The Minimum Wages principle contradictory to a Free market economy!

    What happens when an employer cant afford the Minimum Wage – Government Grants?

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  6. Why clinging to people you can’t afford to pay? Get rid of them and do the job yourself you slave drivers. God has a way of balancing nature. They increase the minimum wage, expect your income to increase to carter for the servants. Complaints will always be there but mulekwatako uluse to your servants.

  7. The minimum wage is a result of a tripartite consultation. The process involves several stakeholders like employers, the labour movement and government. The Minister doesn’t just wake up and announce these changes, so what’s the problem? Our labour laws are amongst the weakest. We need to strike a balance.

  8. It is critical that GRZ and provincial policy makers work to increase the minimum wage to reduce poverty, help build economic security, and benefit workers.

    The province that’s going to beat GRZ minimum wage is going to be the strongest province in our republic.

  9. I pay my garden boys and maids exactly what civil servants get. Tell them that is not money.

    I am now in emmasdale drinking. Happy new year

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  10. “Our closest relatives are nearly endangered species living in a few forests in Africa, but there are billions of us. The speciation that divided us from the other primates is often attributed to “culture,” but isn’t that just another word for our incessant imagining and striving for better ways to live?
    We can envision beings who don’t ask for much, who take minimally from their environments and societies, who instinctively live in balance with their worlds. Some of us wish to become like that, and to live more simply is indeed good advice, but on the whole that’s not the way of human beings. Our way is to aspire always to more than and other than what we have. To be human is to imagine what is not, to seek beyond the limits, to test the constraints, to explore and rush and tumble…

  11. “Socialist Party Criticizes Increase in Minimum Wage….”
    This is why I say some of these parties dont even know what they stand for, I mean a Socialist Party should support anything that uplifts the lives of citzens and this former PF Bwalya is the last person to be talking about this. Sometimes its better to keep quiet and serve your energy for another day. SP leader is the one who was not paying tax and couldnt pay his staff at the Post

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