By Staff Reporter
A low-income urban monthly budget for a family of six now requires a whooping ZWL$20 985 for basic commodities, rent payments and other day to day needs, a survey for the month of September by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe reveals.
The amount dwarfs the majority of Zimbabwe’s labour force salaries, both from the private and civil sector.
It has to be noted that although the CCZ report notes the issue of education (which is slated at ZWL$2000), it is somewhat vague, as parents have been asked to pay both second term and third term fees, which might not be covered in the ZWL$2000stated by CCZ, as some schools are charging more than the amount used by the consumer watchdog.
CCZ factored in prices for daily needs like bread, tomatoes, cooking oil, bath and laundry soaps, water, electricity, health rentals and other normal basic needs for a low-income family of 6, residing in the urban areas.
This, therefore, means the requirements for a low-income family of 6 this month, October, might as well be over the stated ZWL$20 000.
Disparities between the amount and what workers are earning have been constantly causing friction between the employee and employers to the extent that most sectors of the economy have been crippled by on-going industrial actions, while other firms have opted to lay off workers, and others have gone to the extreme and retrenched.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has since embarked on a drive to pile pressure on the employer by holding peaceful industrial actions on each Monday of the week, dubbed the ‘Social Justice Struggle Day’, as workers feel the employer has not been sympathetic to the employee’s needs.
However, the government is not the only employer on the ropes, in the wake of the COVID- 19 pandemic that has ravaged economies across the globe, as many firms both in developed and developing nations have felt the pandemic’s brunt, hence, as a result, jobs have been lost across the globe.
Richer governments have pledged and rescued firms in different sectors by availing attractive rescue packages to keep the economy going.
However, that has not been the case in Zimbabwe as apart from the COVID- 19 negative effects, the country’s economy has been on a downward trend, which has not helped workers’ salaries, coupled also by the fact that the country has been trying to get over effects of the Cyclone Idai, which ravaged the eastern parts of the country, leaving millions in need of food aid.
International organisations such as the World Food Programme have warned that if the country does not get adequate aid (food), almost half the population, 7.7 million people, will be exposed to hunger and malnutrition.
By Staff Reporter