IN a bid to extend benefits to the wider Tanzanian community, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Scheme has set up special schemes targeting small-scale miners in the country.
The latest statistics shows that that the country has about four million small scale miners, most of them carrying out their activities in Shinyanga, Simiyu, Singida and in other mineral-rich Regions.
Speaking to at the ongoing 38th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF), the Fund's Director of Operations, Mr Crescentius Magori said the scheme aimed at ensuring that the miners are equally secured.
He noted that a programme to reach out to and artisanal miners with a view to making them join NSSF was important for them.
Mr Magori said that small scale miners are currently constrained by multiple challenges-including diseases, incidents in work place, lack of capital for purchasing working equipment--critical factors which had been hampering efficiency in their operations.
"This scheme will enable the majority of people who were not previously covered by any social security scheme. Programmes like this one must be sustainable to enable people to benefit without discriminating against who is a worker and who is a farmer or businessperson," he stated.
He explained that besides Fund's substantial contribution to the national economy and development in general, it's only a small number of Tanzanians who are covered against disasters through social security schemes thus it was their desire to extend wings and cover all groups in the country.
Mr Magori pointed out that all small scale miners who are members of Regional Miners Association (REMAS), or any other association were eligible to be incorporated in the scheme.
"Provided that the artisanal miner is able to contribute at least 50,000/- per month, then he is eligible to join the scheme," he noted.
In May this year while opening the 4th NSSF stakeholders' meeting in Arusha President Jakaya Kikwete was quoted as saying that statistics indicated that among the 22.4 million able-bodied Tanzanians, those covered under all six social security schemes do not exceed six per cent.
In consideration of this, the president thus directed all social security schemes to start a process of expanding membership by reaching out to the private sector, especially agriculture and mining. View the discussion thread.