Social protection workshop: increasing access for MSMEs in the construction sector
Despite the vast potential in employment creation that the construction industry has, the sector is characterized by serious decent work deficits resulting from poor regulatory, governance and enforcement mechanisms and a severe lack of social protection programmes. With this in mind, the Zambia Green Jobs Programme (ZGJP), organised a two-day Social Protection training workshop for Micro, Small and Medium contractors on the 27th and 28th September 2016 at Cresta Golfview Hotel in Lusaka.
The overall objective of the training was to increase social security compliance through enhanced knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the requirements, procedures and basic record keeping needed to facilitate effective registration and compliance to social security schemes.
Through its partnerships with the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and Workers Compensation Fund Control Board (WCFCB), who were the main discussants at the workshop, ZGJP aims at improving social protection access and coverage to MSMEs and workers in the construction industry.
The workshop drew participation from National Association of Medium and Small Scale Contractors (NAMSSC) and Zambia Association of Women in Construction (ZAWIC). The others were National Union of Building and Engineering and General Workers (NUBEGW), reporters from Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) and many others.
Speaking for the ZGJP, Ms Patience Matandiko said, "The workshop creates a platform to enhance social dialogue and collaboration between social security institutions and MSMEs in the construction sector." It also promotes an integrated approach in delivery of social security services among MSMEs and workers in the construction sector thereby promoting efficiency and reduction of transaction costs for MSMEs.
And speaking at the same function, NAPSA Lusaka B Station Manager Mr Chota Mwansa said that the institution faced a challenge in offering social security to workers in the informal sector but this engagement contributed to NAPSA's strategy of rolling out a campaign to increase membership from stakeholders like casual workers and those marginalised in the workforce but are provided for in the NAPSA Act.
The deputy director for OHS at NUBEGW Mr Charles Likezo acknowledged that, "This knowledge we have acquired here is vital as most stakeholders are blank about NAPSA and WCFCB." He called for more sensitization from NAPSA and WCFCB, adding that this meeting prompted knowledge sharing and dialogue on issues of concern to both employers and workers. He also thanked ILO for organising the workshop and called on stakeholders in the sector to attend such future events.
Photo caption: Mr. Chota Mwansa, NAPSA manager Lusaka