WORKERS' COMPENSATION CORNER with MAYBIN NKHOLOMBA
MINISTER of Labour and Social Security Joyce Nonde Simukoko has commended the Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board (WCFCB) for prudently investing public funds in residential property to address the housing deficit in Kalumbila district, North-western Province.
WCFCB partnered with Kalumbila Town Development Corporation (KTDC) last year to construct 50 housing units at a cost of K17 million for employees of First Quantum Mining Limited and contractor firms.
Speaking during the handover ceremony of the housing units in Kalumbila last week, Mrs Simukoko stated that the Government appreciates and recognises the successes of an impressive list of revitalisation development projects in Kalumbila district by the WCFCB in collaboration with KTDC. She noted that the investment decision to bring housing infrastructure to the district mirrored Government aspirations to develop North-Western Province. The minister who was impressed with the pace of construction of the housing units which were completed in seven months, noted that KTDC has demonstrated rare capabilities. She said the 50 housing units will be a fine example of the transformative power of investments in rural areas. She observed that most contractors engaged to work on similar projects elsewhere fail to deliver on time due to capacity challenges coupled with corrupt practices.
Mrs Simukoko assured that Government was committed to supporting projects which change the overall economic climate and bring prospects for business investment, such as the Kalumbila housing project, and that the same would not have been possible without the strategic vision of the government and its key institutions. She expressed optimism that the investment would moderate the overall pace of economic activity in Kalumbila and that the housing market will gradually open up business and employment opportunities for the local people. The minister also stated that the development of cities or districts could not be left to the Government alone, urging that WCFCB and other partners should continue working with the Government in the development of infrastructure to provide social and economic activities for the people.
“The presence of good infrastructure remains a key prerequisite to economic development. Therefore my government takes great pride in this historic development project in Kalumbila district which we believe will support private sector development initiatives,” she observed.
She further observed that there is no doubt that the outcomes of such a development, as the one in Kalumbila , would go a long way in improving the quality of lives of the people, more so those that depend on the social security system for livelihood.
The minister informed the gathering that the Government was cognisant of the need to develop strong social security systems through prudent investment of surplus funds to improve capacity to provide reasonable benefits to the people. She emphasised that the Government was committed to the comprehensive reform of the social security system in the country to make it more responsive to the needs of the beneficiaries and workers at critical stages in their lives.
And WCFCB commissioner and chief executive Dr Elizabeth Nkumbula assured the minister that the institution was looking forward to more partnerships with credible institutions to facilitate the participation of WCFCB in national development.
The author is head for communications and customer services at Workers Compensation Fund Control Board. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org