By shi William in chingola
The bus and taxi drivers need social protection to guarantee their future lives. It is not in dispute that these drivers play a big part role in commerce for the national development which most people elect to give a blind eye. The community only appreciates their importance when they are on strike. One would remember what transpired one day when they were on strike here in chingola and Lusaka, people were forced to go for and from work, business, meetings and activities on foot or using open van vehicles as mode of transport. Imagine for a moment a lady in high heels shoes and gentleman in nice suit footing to and from work or meeting, it is obvious that these two people will feel the impact of the role plays by these drivers. Therefore these drivers need recognition through the provision of the social protection by relevant authorities.
These drivers have been neglected for long time and die or retire as poor citizens without hope. These people become burden to their families when retired from the station and eventually find themselves in the streets as beggars because of lack of proper social protection tailored for them. These young drivers who play a vital role in commerce will one day get old and one wonders how their lifestyle will be without social protection from the relevant authorities when they retire.
It is therefore my proposal that, the pride of these important people in our society should be well looked into by compelling all their employers to register them with Napsa, workers compensation fund control board and be giving valid contracts that should be assessed by ministry of labour.These relevant institution should came up with jointly social protection package of which all public buses and taxis operators should adhere to when ever they are engaging a driver and heavy penalties must be well stipulated to who will be offender. The stress and job in security which drivers go through will be thing for the past and the nation will experience the reduction in the road accidents. The Government should know that transport sector is a largest employer of youths and if fully utilized they can collect huge revenue through pay as you earn and relevant taxes.
The Zambia police traffic department and RATSA should implement this policy by conducting inspection of these documents among the drivers if they been covered the way they check driver’s licenses, fitness, insurance and other documents. The divers should be sensitized the need to be moving with these document always and failure to produce it at anytime asked for by police and RATSA will entail that ,is not covered and immediately the owner of the vehicle should be summoned by these authorities for possible actions.
It is my humble hope that, what has been highlighted above will be of great help to the relevant authorities as they are looking for lasting solutions to help these vulnerable workers but yet important people in our society.
By shi William in chingola