The Sunday News
Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Sunday News Reporter
THE Government has effected an increment on civil servants salaries that saw the lowest paid worker being paid US$205 equivalent on the interbank exchange rate in April, while another 45 percent review will be effected at the end of June, officials have said.
The salary reviews are meant to ensure that Government employees will be earning around US$540 equivalent before the end of the year.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima said Government will increase civil servants salaries again in June. The offer to increase salaries was made by Government at the beginning of last month.
“The 25 percent salary increment for civil servants was effected in April. So, in June we will do another 45 percent to bring it to 70 percent for this half of the year,” he said.
Speaking at a press conference in Bulawayo yesterday, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube said Government was committed to addressing and improving the plight of its employees and other workers across the economy.
The US$ 205 translates to about $17 000 for the least paid civil servant.
“Government is doing a lot for civil servants. That is about US$205 equivalent in terms of their salaries for the lowest paid civil servants. Inflation is coming down and as it does so and as we continue as Government to push the wages up, which we will, you will find out that the plight of the civil servants will get better and better. We have awarded the civil servants 25 percent salary increment,” he said.
Professor Ncube challenged the private sector to move in tandem with Government and improve salary structures for their employees.
“I am aware that some members of the private sector have actually been left behind by Government in terms of their salary adjustments. Through the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) structure we have implored them to catch up with Government in terms of their salary structures so that we can improve the plight of all our workers and employees right across the economy,” he said.
Prof Ncube said Government has introduced loan schemes through Salary Service Bureau (SSB) working with treasury for civil servants that have affordable and justifiable interest rates.
“We have heard about civil servants being fleeced by money sharks. It is Government’s concern, it is President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s concern. This is why we have set up service loan schemes through SSB working with treasury. It’s new and has been running for about eight months. We advise civil servants to join. It is voluntary but it will serve them because the interests are better as compared to loan sharks,” he said.
Prof Ncube said Government has introduced location-based tax to net in all the businesses operating on a cash basis. He said the landlords will act as tax collection agents on behalf of Government.
“Location based is a form of tax that will make sure that all citizens, agents and all parts of our economy contribute their fair share to the fiscus in the form of taxes.
“We realised that there were some members of the SME sector who were operating solely on the basis of cash and not on local electronic transactions. They were operating a cash economy.
“The question was how do we then get them to contribute to taxes like everyone else. So we thought that one way to do it is to have this kind of location tax.
“For as long as they operate from a known address or location, building, then the owner can act as an agent to collect tax on behalf of Government. We will work with landlords as agents for collecting tax,” he said.