As we celebrate workers day tomorrow, let's remember that the empowerment of our workers is a key priority in the growth of our economy. Workers have toiled to make companies what they are today and deserve a better return than low wages and salaries. Zimbabwean workers are slowly being transformed from being just workers to sitting at the table and negotiating as shareholders. It should not be ignored that the participation of employees as shareholders increases the output and viability of any company evidently stimulated by a sense of ownership by the employees. Companies such as Schweppes have recorded significantly higher revenues since the Employees and Management took up the majority shareholding of the company in June 2010 as a way of complying with the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment laws of Zimbabwe.
Employee and Manangement Share Ownership Trusts are one of the designated vehicles for broad-based participation in the implementation of indigenisation and economic empowerment programme. 95% of the companies with approved Indigenisation Implementation Plans have included Workers and Management and some, Pensioners, as part owners of their businesses. Schweppes Limited, Meikles Limited, Zimplats, Mimosa Mining company, Old Mutual are some of the companies that have, to date, set aside equity for their employees and Management.
The empowerment of workers is key in the development of any country, and so as we celebrate our workers on the 1st of May 2012, let's recognise the commitment of the employees to the growth of your businesses and the growth of the nation.
The Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment together with the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board, (NIEEB), remain committed to the empowerment of the workers and continue to encourage companies to include their workers and as part shareholders in an effort to achieve broad based participation and build a sustainable economy.