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Call for Pension Fund

Mbabane 2018-07-25

The Coordinating Assembly of NGOs (CANGO) has been following the proposal of the conversion of the Swaziland National Provident Fund (SNPF) into a fully-fledged pension scheme with keen interest.

Our interest is based on the fact that the Non Governmental sector employs between 2 500 and 5 000 people who contribute to the SNPF and thus have an interest on its development.

According to the 2016 NGOs profiling report conducted by CANGO, 2 500 are in full time employment; 41 expatriates; and about 1 000 on stipend and off-stipend volunteers.

As a sector which does not have its own pension scheme, the SNPF could be a critical facility with the potential to provide financial support and peace of mind to an NGO sector employee once he or she retires.

We would therefore like to state that as a sector and a contributor to the fund, we welcome the government move to convert the fund to a pension fund which reaches both low and high earners as well as seasonal employees. We feel that the government’s decision is long overdue and should be pursued with a sense of urgency.

We are cognizant of the fact that the government through the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office in collaboration with the European Union is currently working on a national social protection strategic framework, a move by the country to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals which call for leaving no one behind.

With the high levels of poverty and deepening vulnerabilities in general, the government leadership in strengthening social protection is highly appreciated.

We are in agreement with the International Labour Organisation that the Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102), and the Employment
Promotion and Protection against Unemployment Convention, 1988 (No. 168) conceptually encompass the period during which the main structure of international social security law has been constructed.

There, adoption and domestication of these into legally binding standards will provide the most comprehensive reflection of economic thinking, legal doctrine and technical solutions to social problems by setting basic minimum standards.
We are aware of some misgivings reported through the press. We appreciate that the government has clarified that this process of conversion of the Fund is not just meant for government to use the institution’s assets to pay elderly grants in the country.
We look forward to the finalisation of the conversion so that those who contribute to the Fund may have financial security and peace of mind when they are retired.

Statement by:
Nkosingiphile Myeni
Communications Officer
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