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Social grants reviewed

Pictured at the launch of the Social Expenditure Review are Vic van Vuuren, ILO’s South African director, the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Hon Doreen Sioka, Labour and Social Welfare  Deputy Minister, Hon Alpheus Muheua, NUNW Acting Vice-President Conny Pandeni and NEF occupational health and safety (OHS) advisor Redette Klazen.(Photograph contributed)

Pictured at the launch of the Social Expenditure Review are Vic van Vuuren, ILO’s South African director, the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Hon Doreen Sioka, Labour and Social Welfare Deputy Minister, Hon Alpheus Muheua, NUNW Acting Vice-President Conny Pandeni and NEF occupational health and safety (OHS) advisor Redette Klazen.(Photograph contributed)

The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for a joint effort to inform the public on the current standing of its social expenditures and social protection measures.
In this regard, the ministry requested the ILO to undertake a review of the adequacy, effectiveness and sustainability of its social expenditures and related measures especially in light of changing global economic indicators.
The review, which was launched by the minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Hon Doreen Sioka, is expected to assess whether the current social expenditures are in line with national development goal, as embodied in NDP 4, the Millennium Development Goals and Vision 2030.
Apart from assessing the implications of the current demographics of Namibia and future projections against the global economic trends, the review would also asses what changes in the existing tax regime might be considered in order to support provision or expansion of social protection measures. The intention is to establish the affordability and sustainability of the current social welfare grants and social security systems.
According to Sioka, with respect to state social welfare grants the review will look into issues such as the types and levels of current grants, and whether these provide adequately for the needs of the beneficiaries. The review will also investigate to see if current social protection conforms to ILO standards for minimum protection. She said changes or additions, including additional cash transfers will be considered if grants are found not to conform to these standards.
“The review process would also advise the government of the introduction of a means test for state grant recipients and an evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency of the administration of Social Welfare Grants and Veterans Subvention across all the ministries mandated to execute social protection measures,” said the minister.
The assessment will include the potential impact on overall social protection of the several options for the National Pension Fund and Medical Benefit Fund, and will also advise the government on the feasibility of introducing an unemployment insurance scheme.

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