Paul Nyathi|Government has indicated that public workers who claim to be failing to report for work on claims that transport costs have shot beyond their capacity should instead use the government subsidised ZUPCO buses and report for duty.
Speaking at a post cabinet meeting briefing on Tuesday, Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet had been briefed by Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo on progress made on the roll-out of the Expanded ZUPCO Mass Transit System which was set up to cushion cushion the commuting public, including civil servants, from the prevailing rising costs of public transport services.
Civil Servants including health workers have warned government that they will be failing to report for duty because of the high transport and other costs that their income can not sustain.
Mutsvangwa explained that the government run rapid transport system under ZUPCO is undergoing major expansions to help cushion the civil servants.
“The expanded ZUPCO Mass Transit System incorporates commuter omnibuses and more significantly, will extend the ZUPCO bus service to rural areas,” she said. “The Minister (Cde Moyo) informed Cabinet that an assessment exercise undertaken by ZUPCO indicated that a total of 923 conventional buses are required to fully satisfy demand.
“The current deficit of 415 conventional buses will thus be covered by the 1 000 commuter omnibuses, which are now being incorporated under the ZUPCO Mass Transit System.”
In an interview with State Media on the sidelines of the briefing, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza said Government was keen to continue engaging the National Joint Negotiation Council (NJNC) to discuss civil servants’ welfare.
“A number of consultations with the Apex Council through the NJNC have to take place,” she said. “Once a figure has been agreed upon, we then seek Treasury concurrence.
“The price hikes continue to affect the purchasing power. I am hoping that the bonuses will help ease the burden of rising costs, especially of basic commodities.”
Minister Nzenza’s intervention followed a statement from the Apex Council yesterday that said “civil servants are severely incapacitated” and may struggle to report for work.
Apex said the 76 percent of cost of living adjustment (COLA) negotiated last month has been eroded by inflation.