Formalisation of businesses in the informal sector, where workers often miss having their legal rights under labour laws respected, will be pushed hard by Government, President Mnangagwa has said while stressing that economic growth should see better pay and conditions for workers.
In his statement on the May Day celebrations, the President said his administration fully recognised the plight of workers in the informal sector and is resolute in leaving no one and no place behind.
“My Government will soon be launching the formalisation strategy, which is principally aimed at. addressing decent work deficits in the informal sector.
“The strategy is envisaged to deal with lack of occupational safety and health, exclusion from social protection and irregular employment relationships in the informal sector,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said during the Workers Day celebrations there should be a moment to remember fellow workers who were injured, died or faced diseases resulting from unsafe work environments as aim should be zero harm at the workplace.
“My Government, therefore, attaches great priority to the conclusion of the draft Bill on occupational safety and health with a view to providing a legal framework that addresses the challenges of occupational safety and health in our country,” he said.
President Mnangagwa also made a clarion call that workers should be paid fairly in line with growth being experienced in the economy.
“The importance of ensuring workers are rewarded fairly for their contributions cannot be over emphasised. In this regard, I implore all employers to deploy innovative reward strategies. Our economic growth must cascade to the workers with their quality of lives being uplifted.
“All workers have to look into the future with hope as evidence is on the ground regarding transformation that the Second Republic is making in all sectors of the economy. Brick upon brick we are building this country. Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo, ilizwe lakhiwa ngabinikazi balo, workers included,” he said.
Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) said while there were some unfortunate incidents of mistreatment of workers, it was willing to work with the Government in the formalisation of the informal sector.
“At VISET we believe that being part of the formalisation strategy being spearheaded by the Government we can play our part in addressing such ills in the informal sector,” said VISET.
In a statement yesterday, the Public Service Labour and Social Welfare Ministry led by Professor Paul Mavima said the country recently signed the decent work country programme running from year 2022 up to 2024.
“The programme aims to improve both the quality and quantity of employment, eradicate violence and harassment in the world of work and improve working conditions in the informal and rural economies among others.
“The International Workers Day is a day we raise our flag higher as we take a moment to recognise and celebrate the role of workers in the attainment of an upper middle-income society by 2030,” reads the statement.
A trader at Glenview 8 complex Mr Tinashe Kasiyarima said the formalisation of their sector was the way to go.
“Most of the furniture being sold in Zimbabwe we manufacture it but we somehow feel if the sector is formalised our proceeds might be much more than we are getting right now,” he said.
A vendor, Mrs Eustina Gonda pleaded for a working space.
“Our plea as vendors is for the facilitation of working space. We are always engaged in a cat and mouse chase with law enforcement agencies, but we want to be recognised as a sector that can fully contribute towards building of our nation,” he said.
May Day, also called Workersʼ Day or International Workersʼ Day, was first commemorated in 1889 and celebrates the struggles and gains made by workers and the labour movement and is observed in many countries on May 1. Herald