Committee on civil servants salaries set Prof Ncube

Farirai Machivenyika-Senior Reporter

Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, should prioritise improvement of salaries and benefits of civil servants when he presents the 2022 national Budget next month, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare has said.

The committee, in its recommendations on the priorities for next year’s Budget, said civil servants’ salaries should be pegged above the poverty datum line (PDL). 

It recommended Prof Ncube to focus on growing the revenue base so as to offer some relief to Government workers, “for example tapping into taxing the informal sector”.

It also said Prof Ncube should address inconsistencies in the currency use which has seen fuel and rentals being charged in US dollars, while salaries remain in Zimbabwe dollars. According to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, the cost of living for a family of six is nearly $50 000. 

The Committee also recommended that the US$50 per week foreign currency facility being disbursed through Bureax de Change should be made available through the mainstream banking sector to improve access by all and save productive time lost when workers queue to access it.

Additionally, the Committee recommended that Prof Ncube should consider introducing mobile Bureau de Changes to cater for rural areas.

“While the Committee applauds the housing projects currently underway for nurses and doctors, it is strongly recommended that this facility be extended to other workers in the civil service as a matter of urgency,” it said. 

“This could go a long way in easing accommodation challenges currently being faced by the workers.” 

It added that monthly pension payouts should also be indexed to the PDL. The Committee also wants the 2022 national Budget to allocate more funding towards supporting social welfare programmes targeting the vulnerable groups, particularly persons with disabilities.

“We applaud the launch of the National Disability Policy in June this year,” the committee said. “However, there is need for allocation of financial resources to operationalise the policy, including translation of the policy into other languages such as Braille and Sign language.” 

It also raised concern over delays by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare in submitting the Bill to amend the Disabled Persons Act to Parliament, and recommended that the creation of an electronic database of persons with disabilities should be prioritised.

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