2023 NATIONAL BUDGET: Vendors seek subsidised insurance and medical aid

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

VENDORS have urged the government to craft a national budget that allows the establishment of subsidised insurance, medical aid and pension schemes for informal traders.

Speaking during the 2023 national budget consultation meeting held in Bulawayo Thursday, Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) executive director Michael Ndiweni  said the proposed schemes will go a long way in cushioning informal traders from social and economic vulnerabilities.

“We are requesting various social security schemes for people in the informal economy. If they do not sell various wares and fall ill, they will not be able to access money to seek treatment.

“Those workers who are formally employed contribute to various medical aid schemes but those in the informal sector do not have medical aid. We are asking the government to ensure that the 2023 national budget provides social security.

“That should also happen with pensions. Players in the informal sector do not have pensions, so we appeal to the government to also budget around access to social security facilities for people in the informal economy,” said Ndiweni.

Ndiweni said his organisation has already made consultations on the issue and vendors are willing to make monthly contributions of between US$3 and US$5.

Early this year, the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) prepared similar recommendations to the government.

In tabling the recommendations , Nssa argued that social security is a basic human right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN Protocols, the International Labour Organisation accords and Zimbabwe’s Constitution.