NSSA pensioners receive part payment in US dollars


Gweru (New Ziana) –Pensioners under the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) on Tuesday had something to smile about as they received a portion of their monthly payout in United States dollars at different banks throughout the country.

Last month NSSA announced that beneficiaries would pay a portion of monthly pension in US dollars and those with Econet lines choosing whether to receive the foreign currency component through Ecocash or their usual bank accounts.

There are close to 160 000 pensioners on the NSSA payroll. As of last month, NSSA pensioners were getting a payout of between ZWL $60 000 and ZWL $24 000 per month.

Before most bank opened their doors for business at 8 AM, there were long queues of pensioners waiting to withdraw the US dollars component which had reflected on their mobile phones the previous day.

Those interviewed said the foreign currency component would cushion them from the volatility of the exchange rate as the local currency was depreciating daily due to hyperinflation which has caused prices of basic commodities and services to skyrocket.

They said the development would at least assist in alleviating poverty, covering the gap left void by disintegrated social safety nets, and improve purchasing power as the cost of almost everything had gone up.

“The money we were getting in Zimbabwe dollars was not enough to buy groceries or my medication. We thank Government for giving us US dollars and we hope that they will soon pay the whole amount in US dollars, since the economy has somehow dollarised,” said Enerst Phiri of Senga high density suburb in Gweru.

“We expect the government to increase the money since it is not enough to cater for our needs,” said Jabulani Mpofu (62) from Somabhula, Midlands province, whose sentiments were echoed by Amon Moyo (65) from Chiwundura, who called upon NSSA to increase the monthly pay-out to US$80.

“I got US$30 and RTGS 50 000. This money is not enough to cater for my transport and other basic goods which I want to take home to my family. I have no choice but to sell my cattle so that I can pay school fees and uniforms for my grandchildren,” he said.

Pensioners last year petitioned Parliament seeking a review of their monthly payouts, saying they were living in poverty due to the rising cost of living.

NSSA has come up with social protection intervention strategies to assist pensioners and their beneficiaries in line with its vision to become a world-class provider of social security by 2030 in line with the national vision of becoming an upper middle-class economy by 2030.

The authority has come up with a revolving fund to assist pensioners and their beneficiaries who want to embark on income-generating projects, discounted groceries at selected retailers, negotiate with banks for a waiver of bank charges, conduct medical outreach with their mobile clinics and work was in progress to establish special clinics for pensioners throughout the country.

New Ziana

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