Maputo — Companies owe Mozambique's National Social Security Institute (INSS) 2.397 billion meticais (about 40 million US dollars), according to Labour Minister Vitoria Diogo, cited by the independent television station STV.
This is money discounted from workers' wages, but not transferred to the INSS. It is thus a case of employers stealing on a grand scale from their work force. Workers whose contributions have not been channelled to the INSS find themselves unable to receive social security benefits.
223 cases, accounting for 32.6 million meticais of the debt, are awaiting trial in the Labour Tribunals, Diogo said. Another 874 cases are pending in the various branches of the public prosecutor's office, and over a billion meticais are being chased through tax collection channels.
Diogo, who was speaking on Friday at a seminar on collecting social security debts, claimed that some companies accumulate debt without knowing about it. They claim to have delegated the task of paying the social security contribution to accountants and book-keepers.
Diogo urged all employers to visit the electronic platforms operated by the INSS which show the true situation of their contributions.
Workers can access the platform "My contribution, my benefit", to check whether their employers have channelled the social security contributions discounted from their wages to the INSS.
The Minister said that, over the 2015-2019 period, the INSS has recovered 2.64 billion meticais of debt, which compares with only 838 million meticais recovered in the previous five year period.
Most of the money - 2.53 billion meticais - was collected through extra-judicial channels, and only 115 million meticais through the courts.