Hon. Phila Buthelezi with Hon. Brenda Tambatamba

A delegation from the Eswatini National Provident Fund is in Zambia to learn from NAPSA’ s successful transition from a provident fund to a pension scheme. This is in light of their current reforms to transition from a provident fund to a pension scheme like NAPSA.

This morning the delegation, led by the Minister of Labour and Social Security for eSwatini, Hon. Phila Buthelezi, paid a courtesy call on Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Brenda Tambatamba at Government House.   

Hon. Tambatamba welcomed the delegation and thanked them for recognizing the hard work being done in Zambia by the Ministry of Labour and The National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) in providing social security to the people. The minister assured the delegation that they would get her support and that of NAPSA as they embarked on their pension reforms.

“We are more than happy to share our experiences and lessons on the transition from a provident fund to a pension scheme. I am aware that you have had in-depth interactions with NAPSA, and I hope that this will assist you during your reforms,” said Hon. Tambatamba.

The Minister noted that the delegation had come at a time when Zambia was also undertaking reforms to its social security system to ensure alignment and responsiveness to the members’ needs. She reiterated that Africa had the capacity and expertise to address its challenges and that experience sharing was key.  

“Despite depletion of the Zambia National Provident Fund (ZNPF) assets, NAPSA is still paying off members who contributed to the ZNPF at very high interest rates. This provides a lesson that clear transitional arrangements must be put in place to ensure that all members of the provident fund are catered for at the point of closure to avoid liabilities.”  

The Minister also emphasized the importance of stakeholder engagement, especially with the Labour Movement in the process of reforms so that all the parties are aligned to the vision that the institution seeks to achieve.

Minister of Labour and Social Security from eSwatini, Hon. Phila Buthelezi expressed the delegation’s gratitude at the warm reception received from the Ministry of Labour and NAPSA.  He reiterated that the delegation had received a lot of insight from NAPSA on how the ZNPF transformed from the time it was created to the point of its closure leading to the birth of NAPSA.  

“Hon. Minister, the NAPSA team highlighted some of the challenges faced by the provident fund and how NAPSA addressed these challenges to achieve the aspirations of a pension scheme that it is today. One that is viable and sustainable,” said Hon. Buthelezi.

And His Royal Highness Prince Lonkhokhela Dlamini indicated that his delegation was also interested in understanding and learning how NAPSA was structured in relation to contributions collection, benefits payment and the investments portfolio among other aspects. 

Meanwhile, NAPSA Director General Mr. Muyangwa Muyangwa, acknowledged the recognition from the eSwatini delegation and stated that NAPSA too had learnt something from the interaction that had taken place especially on how the Authority can improve its investments. 

“We have not reached our full potential yet, but we are working hard to attain our goal and we recognize the need for efficiency, improvement in service delivery and prudent investments so that we can grow the scheme and remain financially sustainable and relevant to the members,” he said.

The Kingdom of eSwatini is in the process of transforming their National Provident Fund to a pension scheme similar to NAPSA and they chose to learn from NAPSA as one of the institutions in the region that had successfully made the transition from a provident fund to a pension scheme.

The Eswatini entourage is being led by the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Honourable Phila Buthelezi, Eswatini National Provident Fund (ENPF) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Prince Lonkhokhela Dlamini, Labour Portfolio committee Chairman (Senator) Honourable Sylvia Mthethwa, House of Assembly Chairman (MP) Hon Lutfo Dlamini, the Head of Social Security Mr. Magwabane Mduli, Parliamentary Clerk, Ms. Linda Dlamini and General Manager Operations, Mr. Miccah Nkabinde.

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