by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

The Social Security Commission has paid out N$22,1 million to people who lost their employment as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

These funds form part of the commission’s national employment and salary protection scheme.

Labour minister Utoni Nujoma said in the National Assembly on Wednesday the money was paid out in respect of 5 483 out of 6 300 applications from unemployed workers.

“This process continues,” Nujoma said, noting that the protection scheme ends on 31 July.

He said to date, the SSC has received a total of 2 200 applications from employers for cash injections in the form of wage subsidies to avoid retrenchment and for SSC contribution waivers.

“This programme focuses on the hard-hit industries of tourism, aviation and construction. Payments will be made to qualifying employers from funds to be provided by the Ministry of Finance,” Nujoma noted.

He further said the SSC received applications for wage or unemployment subsidies from 25 581 employees who earn under N$50 000 per year.

“These employees are receiving a payment equivalent to 50% of their monthly salaries for the three-month period from May to July, with a minimum payment of N$1 000,” Nujoma said.

He also said the labour ministry was committed to the principles of social dialogue and tripartite consultations as a means of solving problems in the areas of labour and employment. As a result, Nujoma noted, during the coronavirus lockdown the ministry managed to facilitate the resolution of some major disputes in the mining and fishing sectors through social dialogue. 

“In recent weeks, we have learned of successes by employers who have gone the extra mile to limit the negative impact of Covid-19 on their businesses through effective social dialogue and a mindset aimed at saving jobs,” Nujoma added. – [email protected]

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