By Alois Vinga
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has made a clear call to Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube to put job creation at the heart of the 2023 National Budget due to be tabled in Parliament today.
Although the official unemployment rate in the country hovers around 20%, the citizens of the country are more concerned about the quality of the jobs they are classified in using internationally accepted broad definitions which consider for example a person who has earned $1 in a seven-day period as an employee.
As a result, workers worry about the depletion of formal decent jobs and the rise of informal survival labor that has left the majority of citizens earning wages well below the poverty line.
Confirming the desperate situation facing the country’s workers, the 2n/a The quarterly Labor Force Survey released by the government-run Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) shows that 62% of the employed population earned an income of less than USD 20,000 in April 2022, the equivalent of 60 USD on the parallel market with 2.3 million euros. young people wander the streets.
“Proactive employment in the Zimbabwean context will go a long way towards improving production in the economy and promoting inclusive growth by creating and strengthening value chains and clusters in various sectors of the economy. The agricultural sector, for example, provides unique opportunities,” the ZCTU communication said.
The union group believes that it is also necessary to promote the transition from subsistence farming to commercial farming; and from informality to formality in order to create decent jobs.
“The government must accelerate the implementation of parastatal and state-owned enterprise reforms as these have remained a major albatross for the Zimbabwean economy.
“The Auditor General’s audit reports continued to reveal poor corporate governance, fraudulent activities, financial irregularities and weaknesses in the internal control systems of most parastatals and government agencies,” the ZCTU said. .
Labor believes that improving the investment environment to incentivize greater job creation by the private sector can be the way forward towards promoting employment and the urgent need to protect workers in linking the tax exemption threshold to the poverty reference threshold.
“Under conditions of high inflation, wider tax brackets generate higher disposable income. We also propose that the maximum tax rate be set at 30%. Other tax incentives for cuts, pensions and other benefits should also be reviewed to ensure workers have more money in their pockets,” the ZCTU added.