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CHAPTER 17:04
NATIONAL SOCIAL SECURITY AUTHORITY ACT
Acts 12/1989, 29/1991, 15/1994; 12/1997 (s. 13), 22/2001 (s. 4), 8/2002, 6/2005 (s. 34).
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
PART I
PRELIMINARY
Section
1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
PART II
SOCIALSECURITY SCHEMES
3. Establishment of schemes.
3A. Duty to comply with scheme.
PART III
NATIONAL SOCIALSECURITY AUTHORITY AND NATIONAL SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD
4. Establishment of National Social Security Authority.
5. Establishment of National Social Security Board.
6. Constitution of Board.
7. Conditions of office of members.
8. Disqualification for appointment as member.
9. Vacation of office by member.
10. Minister may require member to vacate office.
11. Filling of vacancies.
12. Meetings and procedure of Board.
13. Committees of Board.
14. Remuneration and expenses of members of Board and members of committees.
15. Right of certain officers to attend meetings of Board or committees.
16. Members to declare personal interest.
17. Validity of decisions and acts of Board.
18. Transaction of business of an urgent nature.
19. Execution of contracts and instruments by Board.
20. Minutes of proceedings of Board.
PART IV
FUNCTIONS OFAUTHORITY
21. Functions of Authority.
22. General powers of Authority.
23. Principles to be observed by Authority.
24. Reports of Authority.
25. Appointment of general manager.
26. Appointment of actuary and review of schemes.
27. Minister may give Authority directions in national interest.
PART V
FINANCIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO AUTHORITY
28. Funds of Authority.
29. Holding of funds of Authority.
30. Establishment of reserves.
31. Financial year of Authority.
32. Accounts of Authority.
33. Audit of accounts of Authority.
34. Powers of auditors.
PART VI
APPEALS
35. Appeals to general manager.
36. Appeals to Board.
37. Appeals to Administrative Court.
38. General manager may state case for Supreme Court.
PART VII
GENERAL
39. Inspectors.
40. Powers of entry and search.
40A Estimated assessment of contribution.
40B Power to appoint agent.
40C Power to register employers.
41. Obstruction of inspectors and police officers.
41A Disclosure of confidential information
41B False statements in returns, etc
42. Exemption from liability of Authority and members.
43. Indemnity of members and employees of Authority.
44. Investigation into affairs of Authority.
45. Benefits not to be pledged or ceded nor to form part of insolvent estate.
46. Recovery of benefits granted or paid in error.
47. Reciprocal agreements with other countries.
48. Offences and penalties.
49. Regulations.
SCHEDULE: Powers of Authority.
AN ACT to provide for the establishment of social security schemes for the provision of benefits for
employees; to establish the National Social Security Authority and to provide for the functions thereof;
to provide for the constitution and functions of the National Social Security Board; and to provide for
matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
[Date of commencement: 30th March, 1990.]
PART I
PRELIMINARY
1 Short title
This Act may be cited as the National Social Security Authority Act [Chapter 17:04].
2 Interpretation
In this Act—
“Authority” means the National Social Security Authority established by section four;
“benefit” means a benefit or advantage of any kind whatsoever deriving from any scheme;
“Board” means the National Social Security Board established in terms of section five;
“committee” means a committee of the Board established in terms of subsection (1) of section thirteen;
“contribution” means a contribution paid, whether directly or indirectly, in terms of any scheme;
“employee” means any person employed by or working for an employer and receiving or entitled to receive any
remuneration in respect of such employment or work;
“employer” means any person whatsoever who employs or provides work for another person and remunerates or
expressly or tacitly undertakes to remunerate him, and includes the manager, agent or representative of such
person who is in charge or control of the work upon which such other person is employed;
“financial year” means the financial year of the Authority referred to in section thirty-one;
“general manager” means the general manager of the Authority appointed in terms of section twenty-six;
“inspector” means a person appointed as an inspector in terms of section thirty-nine;
“member”, subject to section twelve, means a member of the Board other than the general manager;
“Minister” means the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare or any other Minister to whom the
President may from time to time assign the administration of this Act;
“scheme” means a social security scheme established in terms of section three.
PART II
SOCIALSECURITY SCHEMES
3 Establishment of schemes
(1) Subject to subsections (4), (5) and (6), the Minister may, by notice in a statutory instrument, establish one or
more schemes for the provision of benefits to or in respect of all employees or such classes of employees as may be
specified in the notice, and may in like manner amend or abolish any such scheme.
(2) A notice in terms of subsection (1) may provide for—
(a) the registration of employers and employees liable to contribute in terms of any scheme;
(b) the registration of dependants of employees covered by any scheme;
(c) the compulsory payment of contributions by employers and employees, the rates of such contributions and
the deduction of contributions payable by employees from any salary, wages or other moneys payable to
them;
(d) the compulsory submission of any person to any medical or dental examination required for the purposes of
a scheme;
(e) the payment of contributions by persons who were contributing in terms of a scheme but who are unemployed;
(f) the imposition of surcharges in respect of the late payment of contributions by employers or employees;
(g) the manner and circumstances in which contributions may be refunded;
(h) fees that may be charged for medical and dental examinations, services provided and other things done for
the purposes of a scheme;
(i) the nature and amount of benefits to be granted or paid in terms of a scheme, the circumstances in which
and the persons to whom such benefits shall be granted or paid and the manner in which they shall be
granted or paid;
(j) the reduction, suspension or withdrawal of any benefit granted or paid in terms of a scheme;
(k) the maintenance of records by employers in respect of contributions payable by them and by or in respect of
their employees;
(l) the submission of returns by employers regarding their employees and their remuneration and conditions of
service;
(m) any other matter whatsoever for which, in the opinion of the Minister, it is necessary or desirable to make
provision in order to give effect to a scheme.
(2a) A notice in terms of subsection (1) which establishes a scheme to compensate employees for injury, disablement
or death connected with or arising out of their employment may provide for
(a) the abrogation of any remedy at common law whereby damages may be claimed for such injury, disablement
or death; and
(b) the payment of additional compensation where such injury, disablement or death is due to negligence on the
part of the employer concerned or an agent of the employer or to any defect in
(i) the premises in which the employee concerned is or was employed; or
(ii) any plant or machinery used by the employee concerned in the course of his employment.
[Subsection inserted by s. 13(1) of Act No. 12 of 1997]
(3) Without derogation from section 21 of the Interpretation Act [Chapter 1:01], a notice in terms of subsection
(1) may provide for—
(a) different levels of contributions to be payable by different classes of persons; and
(b) different benefits to be granted or paid to different classes of employees and other persons:
Provided that no notice shall discriminate between persons on the ground of race, tribe, place of origin, political
opinion, colour, or creed.
(4) Before establishing, amending or abolishing any scheme in terms of this section, the Minister shall consult
the Board and the Minister responsible for finance.
(5) No scheme shall come into operation in terms of this section until the Minister has laid it before Parliament
and Parliament has by resolution approved it.
(6) A scheme may be established so as to apply to or in respect of employees whose conditions of service are
fixed or regulated by any Commission established in terms of the Constitution and, in that event—
(a) any notice establishing, amending or abolishing the scheme shall be made in conjunction with the Commission
concerned; and
(b) to the extent that the scheme does apply to such employees, it shall bind the State.
3A Duty to comply with scheme
Any person who contravenes any provision of a scheme with which it is his duty to comply shall be guilty of an
offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level five or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to
both such fine and such imprisonment.
[Subsection inserted by section 4 of Act 22 of 2001]
PART III
NATIONAL SOCIALSECURITY AUTHORITY AND NATIONAL SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD
4 Establishment of National Social Security Authority
There is hereby established an authority, to be known as the National Social Security Authority, which shall be a
body corporate and, in the name of the National Social Security Authority, shall be capable of suing and being sued
and, subject to this Act, of performing all acts that bodies corporate may by law perform.
5 Establishment of National Social Security Board
Subject to this Act, the operations of the Authority shall be controlled by a board, to be known as the National
Social Security Board, constituted in terms of this Part.
6 Constitution of Board
(1) The Board shall consist of—
(a) the general manager, ex officio; and
(b) not more than—
(i) six members appointed by the Minister from a panel of names submitted to him by organizations
representing employers and employees which members shall be appointed in equal numbers from
the names submitted by the organizations representing employers and those representing employees;
and
(ii) three members appointed by the Minister after consultation with employer and employee organizations;
and chosen for their ability and experience in administration or finance or their professional qualifications or for their
suitability otherwise for appointment as members.
(2) If an organization representing employers or employees fails to submit a list of nominations within a reasonable
time after being so requested by the Minister for the purposes of subparagraph (i) of paragraph (b) of subsection
(1), the Minister may appoint as members such persons as he thinks would best represent the interests of members of
such organization, and any person so appointed shall be deemed to have been chosen in accordance with the requirements
of the said subparagraph.
(3) The Minister shall appoint one member as chairman of the Board and another member as deputy chai rman of
the Board, and the deputy chairman shall exercise the functions of the chairman during any period that the chairman
is unable to do so.
(4) The Minister may appoint any person to the Board as an alternate to any member referred to in subse ction
(1), and such member—
(a) shall act as a member only when the member to whom he is alternate is for any reason unable to exercise
his functions on the Board;
(b) when acting as a member shall exercise the functions of the member to whom he is alternate:
Provided that an alternate to the chairman or deputy chairman of the Board shall not exercise the functions and
powers or perform the duties of the chairman or deputy chairman, as the case may be.
(5) In appointing a person as an alternate to a member in terms of subsection (4), the Minister shall be bound by
the same requirements for appointment that are applicable, in terms of subsection (2), to the appointment of members.
7 Conditions of office of members
(1) Subject to this Part, a member shall hold office for such period, not exceeding three years, as the Minister
may fix on his appointment and on such conditions as the Minister may fix for members generally.
(2) A retiring member shall be eligible for reappointment as a member.
8 Disqualification for appointment as member
A person shall not be appointed as a member and no person shall be qualified to hold office as a member who—
(a) is not ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe; or
(b) has, or is married to a person who has, a financial interest connected directly or indirectly with the interests
of the Authority unless the Minister considers that the financial interest concerned is such that it is not
likely to interfere with the impartial performance of his functions as a member; or
(c) has, in terms of a law in force in any country—
(i) been adjudged or otherwise declared insolvent or bankrupt and has not been rehabilitated or discharged;
or
(ii) made an assignment to, or arrangement or composition with his creditors which has not been rescinded
or set aside;
or
(d) has, within the period of five years immediately preceding the date of his proposed appointment, been
sentenced in any country to a term of imprisonment of or exceeding six months imposed without the option
of a fine and has not received a free pardon.
9 Vacation of office by member
A member shall vacate his office and his office shall become vacant—
(a) after giving the Minister such period of notice of intention to resign as may be fixed in his conditions of
appointment or, if no such period has been fixed, after the expiry of one month after the date he gives such
notice or after the expiry of such other period of notice as he and the Minister may agree; or
(b) on the date he begins to serve a sentence of imprisonment the term of which is not less than six months,
whether or not any portion has been suspended, imposed without the option of a fine in any country; or
(c) if he becomes disqualified in terms of paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of section eight to hold office as a member;
or
(d) if he is required in terms of section ten to vacate his office; or
(e) if he is absent without the permission of the Board from three consecutive meetings of the Board, of which
he has been given not less than seven days’ notice.
10 Minister may require member to vacate office
The Minister may require a member to vacate his office if the member—
(a) has been guilty of conduct which renders him unsuitable to continue to hold office as a member; or
(b) has failed to comply with the conditions of his office fixed by the Minister in terms of subsection (1) of
section seven; or
(c) is mentally or physically incapable of efficiently exercising his functions as a member.
11 Filling of vacancies
On the death of, or the vacation of office by, a member, the Minister shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy.
12 Meetings and procedure of Board
(1) In this section—
“member” includes the general manager.
(2) The Board shall hold its first meeting on such date and at such place as the Minister may fix and thereafter
the Board shall meet for the dispatch of business and adjourn, close and otherwise regulate its meetings and procedures
as it thinks fit:
Provided that meetings of the Board shall be held at least once every three months.
(3) The chairman of the Board may himself at any time and shall, at the request in writing of not fewer than two
members, convene a special meeting of the Board, which meeting shall be convened for a date not sooner than seven
days nor later than thirty days after receipt of such request.
(4) If at a meeting of the Board the chairman and the deputy chairman are both absent, the members present may
elect one of their number to preside at that meeting as chairman.
(5) A majority of members shall form a quorum at a meeting of the Board.
(6) All acts, matters or things authorized or required to be done by the Board may be decided by a majority vote
at a meeting of the Board at which a quorum is present.
(7) At all meetings of the Board each member present shall, subject to section sixteen, have one vote on each
question before the Board and, in the event of an equality of votes, the chairman shall have a casting vote in addition
to a deliberative vote.
(8) Any proposal circulated among all members and agreed to in writing by a majority of all of them shall be of
the same force and effect as a resolution passed at a duly constituted meeting of the Board and shall be incorporated
in the minutes of the next succeeding meeting of the Board:
Provided that, if a member requires that such proposal be placed before a meeting of the Board, this subsection
shall not apply to such proposal.
13 Committees of Board
(1) For the better exercise of its functions, the Board may establish one or more committees in which may be
vested and on which may be imposed such of the functions of the Board as the Board, with the consent of the Minister,
may direct:
Provided that—
(i) the vesting or imposition of any such functions in a committee shall not divest the Board of such functions;
and
(ii) the Board may amend or withdraw any decision of any such committee in the exercise of its functions.
(2) The procedure of each committee shall be fixed by the Board.
(3) The chairman of the Board may at any time and place convene a meeting of a commi ttee.
(4) The Board—
(a) shall appoint to every committee at least one member who shall be chairman of the committee;
(b) may appoint as members of any committee, on such terms and conditions as the Board may fix, persons
who are not members.
(5) Subsections (4) to (8) of section twelve and sections sixteen, seventeen and twenty shall apply to committees
and members thereof, mutatis mutandis, as they do to the Board and its members.
14 Remuneration and expenses of members of Board and members of committees
A member of the Board or a member of a committee shall be paid from the funds of the Authority—
(a) such remuneration if any, as the Minister, with the approval of the Minister responsible for finance, may fix
for members of the Board or members of committees, as the case may be, generally; and
(b) such allowances as the Minister, with the approval of the Minister responsible for finance, may fix to meet
any reasonable expenses incurred by him in connection with the business of the Board or that committee, as
the case may be.
15 Right of certain officers to attend meetings of Board or committees
Such officers of the Public Service as the Minister may designate shall be entitled to attend meetings and to take
part in the proceedings of the Board or of a committee as if they were members thereof, but they shall not have a vote
on any question before the Board or committee, as the case may be.
16 Members to declare personal interest
(1) If a member or his spouse—
(a) tenders for or acquires or holds a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a contract with the Authority; or
(b) knowingly acquires or holds a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a company, co-operative or association
of persons applying or negotiating for a contract with the Authority; or
(c) owns immovable property or a right in immovable property or a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a
company, co-operative or association of persons which results in his private interests coming or appearing
to come into conflict with his duties as a member; the member shall forthwith disclose the fact to the Board.
(2) A member referred to in subsection (1) shall take no part in the consideration or discussion of, or vote on,
any question before the Board which relates to any contract, right, immovable property or interest referred to in that
subsection.
(3) The general manager shall not take any part in the consideration or discussion of any question before the
Board which relates to the terms and conditions of his appointment as general manager.
17 Validity of decisions and acts of Board
No decision or act of the Board or act done under the authority of the Board shall be invalid solely because—
(a) the Board consisted of fewer than the number of persons for which provision is made in subsection (1) of
section six; or
(b) a disqualified person acted as a member;
at the time the decision was taken or the act was done or authorized, if the duly appointed members who were present
when the decision was taken or the act was done or authorized by the Board constituted a quorum in terms of subsection
(5) of section twelve.
18 Transaction of business of an urgent nature
(1) If it is impracticable to hold a meeting of the Board for the transaction of business of an urgent nature, the
chairman of the Board, after consulting such of the other members as is practicable in the circumstances, may deal
with the business himself, and his decision or action shall be deemed to be the decision or action of the Board.
(2) As soon as possible after acting in terms of subsection (1), the chairman of the Board shall give the Board
full particulars of the nature and extent of the urgency of the business, of the circumstances in which the urgency
arose and of the decision or action taken by him in the matter, and the Board may confirm, vary or rescind his decision
or action as it thinks appropriate.
19 Execution of contracts and instruments by Board
An agreement contract, or instrument approved by the Board may be entered into or executed by any person or
persons generally or specially authorized by the Board for that purpose.
20 Minutes of proceedings of Board
(1) The Board shall cause minutes of all proceedings of and decisions taken at every meeting of the Board to be
entered in books kept for the purpose.
(2) Any minutes referred to in subsection (1) which purport to be signed by the chairman of the meeting to
which the minutes relate or by the chairman of the next following meeting of the Board, shall be accepted for all
purposes as prima facie evidence of the proceedings of and decisions taken at the meeting concerned.
PART IV
FUNCTIONS OFAUTHORITY
21 Functions

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