Tanyaradzwa Kutaura, Harare Bureau
Zimbabwe’s employment level has firmed over the last six months with more than 60 000 jobs created in various sectors, as the economy continues to stabilise under President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.
Our Harare Bureau has accessed statistics from the National Social Security Authority, collated through P3 forms submitted by new employees, showing that 62 689 jobs were created between January and June 2018. Nssa data also shows that 1 730 new companies have been registered this year.
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries described the statistics as “impressive”, and added that capacity utilisation had breached 50 percent this year for the first time in seven years.
According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat), an employee is anyone who works for a public or private employer for more than 30 hours per week. Zimstat defines an employer is any individual are entity that employs a worker for more than 30 hours per week.
In emailed responses to questions from our Harare Bureau last week, Nssa marketing and communications executive Mr Tendai Mutseyekwa said: “The number of employees registered from January 2018 to date (is) 62 689 (and) the number of employers registered from January to date (is) 1 730.”
Nssa experienced a slump in pension contributions in the past two decades owing to job losses attributable to poor economic performance and repressed investor confidence. Employer contributions fell 42 percent between January and September last year, 48 percent in 2016, and 52 percent the previous year. But since late 2017 when President Mnangagwa assumed office, there has been a turnaround.
CZI president Mr Sifelani Jabangwe said the job creation figures were “impressive”, and also revealed that industry capacity utilisation levels 50 percent for the first time since 2011 in the first six months of 2018.
“The main thing is that the industry is now operating at above 50 percent and this is positive because since 2011, industry has been operating below 50 percent,” he said.
Mr Jabangwe continued: “There is a challenge of accessing foreign currency, but (most companies) are now a going concern and are doing well. A lot of companies have been selling whatever they are producing; there has been significant uptake in terms of consumption and I think this has to do with the supportive measures put in place by the Government for the consumption of local products.
“Another positive aspect is the issuing of $100 million to Zimbabwe by the British government, and recently we met with the AfDB (African Development Bank) which wants to extend financial assistance to the private sector, to our companies. We believe that this has been very positive and continues to stir the economy in a positive direction.”
In the past seven months, Zimbabwe has attracted huge investments that have seen President Mnangagwa commissioning a $30 million Pepsi Varun Beverages plant, the $3,5 million Splash Paints and Plastic plant, the $40 million Willowtown Group’s Refiners plant.
Last week, the Head of State and Government officiated at a ground-breaking ceremony for the $1 billion Hwange Power Station Expansion Project; while various other investments in industry, mining, agriculture, infrastructure and housing are at advanced stages of finalisation and/ or implementation.