Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday urged leaders and officials of the Labour Ministry not to wait for the outbreak of disputes between employers and workers before attempting to mediate between them.
He made this appeal in the northern city of Lichinga, at the inauguration of the new offices of the Niassa Provincial Directorate of Labour, Employment and Social Security.
“I want to urge all leaders and staff of the Labour Ministry not to wait for conflicts to erupt. You have to avoid them”, said Nyusi. “We have to exercise our constitutional power of directing governance processes”.
He was aware of the fact that there are still companies who deduct social security contributions from their workers’ wages, but then do not pass the money on to the National Social Security Institute (INSS).
“We also know that pension funds have not always been handled responsibly and with the maximum transparency”, Nyusi added. “Workers are still systematically fired in an unjust and illegal manner. There are still workers who have no contracts, and some employers do not obey the rules of workplace hygiene and safety, thus putting their workers at risk”.
He urged Labour Ministry staff not to rest “faced with lack of compliance by the various stakeholders in the chain of labour and employment”.
“We are not just celebrating the inauguration of a building”, said Nyusi. “We are here to transmit a message of greater pragmatism in the actions of the management of the labour sector to reverse the current situation”.
The President noted that surveys held in 2015 put the average rate of unemployment in Mozambique at 21.6 per cent, but the rate in Niassa was well above the average, at 25.6 per cent.
“Hence the creation of more jobs for our young people has been one of the cornerstones of our governance”, Nyusi said. “Work and employment give people dignity, as well as being one of the most visible forms of the distribution of wealth and of economic inclusion”.
He claimed that in the first two years of his government (2015-2016) 560,000 jobs had been created. Of these, 12,605 were created in Niassa. In these two years, 20,000 new companies had been registered, 544 of them in Niassa.
“During the first two years of our governance, we have been bringing together the desires of the government, entrepreneurs and workers in the sphere of promoting employment, dialogue and social protection”, said Nyusi.
The government had also concentrated on training programmes, including the use of 20 mobile professional training units.”As a result of our partnership with the private sector, we have trained, throughout the country, about 236,000 citizens”, said Nyusi.
Although only 5,575 of these are women, Nyusi declared that the government is committed to promoting gender equality and equity in all spheres of socio-economic development.