Namibia: Advisory Council to Focus On Informal Sector

The newly appointed Labour Advisory Council will prioritise the transformation of the informal sector into the mainstream economy through advice on policy to the ministry of labour.

The chairperson of the 14th Labour Advisory Council (LAC), Tuli-Mevava Nghiyoonanye, told The Namibian yesterday that the council will soon finish their studies on how the ministry of labour can formalise the informal sector.

"The transitioning of Namibia's informal economy to formal will be a priority on the LAC agenda during its current tenure," she said.

Nghiyoonanye added that priority would also be given on redirecting the dialogue within the council to coping with the impact of Covid-19 and ensuring that the 'Decent Work Agenda' remains alive.

She explained that the previous council had been directed by the previous minister of labour to find ways how the ministry could formalise the informal sector, and the council responded by setting up a committee that carried out studies for recommendations to the minister.

However, according to her, the previous council's term ended before the committee could present their findings.

Nghiyoonanye indicated that the desktop study on formalising the informal economy is about 60% done and results could be presented to the new council at their first meeting in July. She expressed hope that by the end of the third-quarter their recommendation to the minister would be ready.

At its first meeting, the council is to set up various committees including the Essential Services Committee (ESC) and Committee for Dispute Prevention and Resolutions which are statutory bodies in terms of the Labour Act.

The council is also expected to form other committees they deem necessary such as the one on the informal economy.

On the issue of retrenchments and the court nullification of some state of emergency regulations on labour, Nghiyoonanye said the committee is ready to advise the ministry if asked to do so.

The council is tasked to investigate and advise the minister of labour on matters such as collective bargaining, national policy in respect to basic employment conditions, health, and safety.

The council consists of 12 members -four representing the state, four from registered labour unions, and four members representing employers -and an independent chairperson.

The council is expected to showcase tripatitism - collaboration of unions, employers and the government to spearhead improvement in labour productivity and efficiency and economic competitiveness.

For their tenure, the LAC is expected to review the rules, and regulations pertaining to the Labour Act 2007, amendment of the Social Security Act of 1994, the development of the occupational safety health law, and the finalisation of the national inspection policy. [email protected]

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