Tinashe Makichi: Business Reporter
The National Social Security Authority is set to retrench close to 300 workers as part of efforts to create a leaner organisation that will deliver levels of service commensurate with the expectations of pensioners.The Herald is reliably informed that NSSA — which has close to 700 employees — is planning to streamline its workforce to 400 through a voluntary retrenchment offer which runs up until January 13, 2017.
NSSA general manager Liz Chitiga in e-mailed responses yesterday said the authority would undertake a voluntary retrenchment scheme as part of a broad restructuring exercise.
“In his statement issued on December 2, 2016, the NSSA board chairman Robin Vela indicated that the Authority would undertake a voluntary retrenchment scheme as part of a broader restructuring exercise.
“Subsequent to that a voluntary retrenchment package was offered to all employees. By virtue of it being voluntary it is not possible to determine the number of employees that will take up the offer. Like all other organisations in Zimbabwe, NSSA has not been spared from the challenging economic environment,” said Mrs Chitiga.
She said the current employee numbers and related costs are untenable and the restructuring exercise is aimed at lowering operating costs and ensuring long-term viability.
“The latest restructuring is part of a continuing process that began in October 2015. The board recognised that these painful measures were necessary for sustained viability in an increasingly challenging operating environment where the Authority’s goal remains to deliver a living pension to its pensioners.
“The current employee numbers and related costs are untenable and the restructuring exercise is aimed at lowering operating costs and ensuring long-term viability — effectively creating a “lean, mean machine” that can deliver the levels of service commensurate with the expectations of our pensioners.
“While it may not be possible to quantify the savings at this stage, any gains will clearly be for the benefit of pensioners,” said Mrs Chitiga.”
The NSSA board approved a voluntary separation which is open to all willing employees of the Authority. The Herald is informed that a formal notice has already been issued in this regard by the general manager.
A source close to the developments said employees based in NSSA regional operations are the ones likely to be affected first. The NSSA board recently conducted a skills audit of the Authority’s personnel and embarked on the second phase of its restructuring exercise focused on middle management at NSSA.
The exercise affected 13 individuals and posts whose incumbents were advised and ceased to represent NSSA with immediate effect.