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The ability of Government to retain its workforce and attract suitably qualified persons to join the public service has been one of Government’s main priorities since the 2008 reform.

As the only High Income country in Africa, Seychelles is steadily increasing its prosperity and it is only right that this is shared in a fair manner to benefit all its citizens.
A review of performance management in Seychelles carried out by the World Bank, found that the Seychelles public service operates relatively well, continuing along familiar, but mostly traditional patterns.
It however also highlighted that our public service requires substantial strengthening to render it more performing.
Presenting the 2020 budget to the National Assembly last Friday, the Minister for Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning, Ambassador Maurice-Lousteau Lalanne recalled that the Vision 2033 was launched in August this year.
It aspired to transform Seychelles to “a resilient, responsible and prosperous nation of healthy educated and empowered Seychellois living together in harmony with nature and engaged with the wider world.
According to Minister Lousteau-Lalanne the launching of the long-term Vision highlighted the need to look beyond the medium term and ascertain what we want to achieve as a nation in the next 5 years.
In its bid to share prosperity, a sum of R3 billion – or a third of the 2020 budget, had been allocated to wages and salaries of public servants. This, Minister Lousteau-Lalanne said represents or an increase of 382 million or 15% more than the 2019 budget.
The following schemes of service are being revised in 2020.
- Seychelles Land Transport Agency asphalt worker
- All project officers in ministries , departments and agencies.
- Attorney General and public prosecutors
- Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development- Headteacher, deputy head teacher and library employees
-Department of Immigration and Civil Status
-Department of Foreign Affairs diplomatic staff, personnel of diplomatic missions abroad and protocol chauffeur
-The legislature, Parliamentary unit and Secretariat
-Department of Risk and Disaster Management staff
The Scheme of Service will in 2020 apply to more categories of public servants. These are the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, which will be revised in March 2020. That of the Judiciary will be revised in April, while the Seychelles Bureau of Standards, this will be implemented from July 2020.
The Scheme of Service for nurses, which was revised in April 2018, when Government announced a retention allowance of R 3,000, along with a revision in the manner the nurses gratuity was calculated. In 20120, Government will review the nurses’ basic salary, aimed for implementation in 2021.

5% salary increase

The 2020 budget also contains a provision to implement the 5% salary increase across the board since April last year. In 2020, the full year implications for implementing the 5% salary increase is Just over R74 million. In addition, Government started implementation of the Long Service Allowance in July 2019. This will have a full year implication totaling R104 million in the 2020 budget.
A review of the basic salaries of support staff will also implemented in 2021. These are the human resource, administration and secretarial personnel.
The Minister said the main economic pillar remains tourism, anticipated to grow by 5% in 2019. Furthermore, as per the announcement made by President Danny Faure in October, the Long Service Allowance Scheme for government employees – which was introduced in July, will now be applicable for employees of the Public Service Commission and Agency contracts from January 2020. This adds R19 million to the budget.
The Long Service Allowance for housekeepers’ Cleaning Cooperative and the security officers working with the VVIP Unit will be entitled to their Long Service Allowance, from the day they joined Government service.

Increase in minimum wage

As per the announcement made by President Faure, on May Day this year, the minimum wage will increase by R500 per month effective from January 2020. The impact of the minimum wage will increase the salary of full time homed carers from R 6,060 to R 6,633 from January.
The salary of the Home Carers on part time basis will be increased from R3,787 top R4,145. This, in turn will lead to an increase in pension contribution payment made by Governmnent on behalf of the Home Carers.
Retirement as well as Invalidity and Disability benefits will in 2020 increase from R5,250 to R5,750 monthly.

Continuous increase in data usage and demand for internet services is driving growth in the Information and Telecommunication sector with the overall forecast at 7%. This sector has been resilient during the past 5 years and outlook is expected to remain strong with the installation of a second submarine cable.
The construction sector is also resurging, given several government housing projects, expansion of the La Gogue Dam, the renovation of St Anne Resorts other developments.

People at the centre of Development

Minister Lousteau-Lalanne told the Assembly that as Seychelles engages with th wider world, the islands require a pool of highly skilled creative workers, who can increase productivity and stimulate economic growth.
The Agency of National Human Resources Development, which has been allocated a budget of R 205 million, will play a key role in achieving this strategy.
The Minister noted that during 2019, we had 95 students graduating from overseas universities and 104 from the University of Seychelles. Minister Lopusteau-Lalanne said that in 2020, it is expected there will be 238 graduates.

Opportunities are there for our youths to study and the sky is the limit

In addition, based on the 2020 budget, the Agency of National Human Resource Development is expected to offer 358 scholarships for study in different fields.
As mentioned by President Faure in his 2018 State of the Nation Address, “There is currently a necessity to better prepare our youth from a young age for them to gain the knowledge and competence to better integrate into the economic sector.
The Government has embarked on the establishment of a new technical school, intended to take in students from the existing general skills pathway in all secondary schools at S4 And S5 level. The specialized school at Ile Soleil, will be operational by 2022.
Minister Lousteau-Lalanne said a new Business Studies Academy and Seychelles Insitute of Art and Design will be constructed at Ile Aurore. The project will go on tender in 2020 and R127.9 million has been allocated in the budget for that project.
The Finance Minister also revealed that a additional R10 million has been allocated under the Unemployment Relief Scheme (URS) and R3.1 million for the Employment Re-skilling programme.
Minister Lousteau-Lalanne said the opportunities are there for our youths to study and the sky is the limit. They should use the opportunities and use them in their development to take up highly skilled jobs of tomorrow.

Agency of Social Protection

In the 2020 budget, the Agency for Social Protection gets an allocation of R1.49 billion, representing an increase of R100 million or 7% compared to the 2019 budget. R1.28 billion , or 88% is for retirement and disability benefits and the Home Carers Scheme. Minister Lousteau-Lalanne noted the ageing population.

Day Care and Child Minding assistance

The assistance that parents are eligible to receive from Day Care and Child Minding, will be increased from R500 to R750 as from January 2020.

Allowance for expectant mother from Inner islands
Expectant mothers on Praslin and La Digue, upon reaching 34 weeks gestation age, have to be transferred to the Ante-Natal of the Seychelles Hospital until delivery. This means that expectant mothers have to seek alternative accommodation on Mahe.
During the parenting programme held on Praslin, expectant mothers expressed concern at the cost of accommodation on Mahe, putting an extra financial burden on them. In 2020, a flat allowance e of R1,500 will be given to support expectant mothers from inner islands coming to Mahe and requiring accommodation.
This is being done through the Agency of Social Protection.
In 2018, out of a total 1,650 live births, 40 (out of 66) were from Grand Anse Praslin; 45 (out of 69 were from Baie Ste Anne, while La Digue recorded 45 births, of whom 36 were on Mahe.

Land and Housing remains priority area

In 2020, land and housing remains a priority for the Government. A bdget of R 97 million has been allocated under the Ministry of Habitat, Infrastucture and Land Transport for the development of the housing and land projects . However, the Minister said, this will not be enough. Government through the Property management Corporation, will have to finance another R 200 million worth of projects.
Minister Lousteau-Lalanne this will be done through a bond that PMC will issue in January 2020 for five years at 5% annual interest. The repayment will be through the budget.
Government will use R40 million of the R200 million to purchase the Ile Perseverance Housing Project from the Seychelles Pension Fund. The project at Perseverance consists of 24 two-bedroom apartments and 18 one bedroom units- at a purchase price of R68.5 million. The project is expected to be completed by the end of November 2019.
The new bond of R200 will also be used to finance the replacement of roofing tiles by PMC.
The 18 one-bedroom units will be used by PMC to rent out to graduates at a reasonable R 6,000 montly, while they wait for either a condominium or a plot of land from Government’s Land BaNK.
Based on the availability of resources, Government has been able to give 188 families, the keys to their new homes up to October 2019. A further 152 families will receive their new homes before the end of this year.
During 2020, 209 families are expected to receive the keys to their new homes.
A total of 175 plots of land were allocated in 2019 and infrastructure is expected to be laid for another 286 plots in 2020.

Community projects

During 2019, the Department of Local Government is expected to complete 210 small community projects worth R27.4 million. In 2020, R30million has been allocated for similar projects. An dditional R9.2 million has been allocated for minor emergency works.
It is expected that by the end of 2019, new Day Care Centres will be completed at Anse Aux Pins, Glacis, Takamaka and Grand Anse Praslin.
In addition, Indian funds will be used to build Day Care Centres at Cascade, English River, Grand Anse Mahe, Ile Perseverance, Les Mamelles and Roche Caiman.
These will constitute new business opportunities for Seychellois operators.

Youth and Sports

The Department of Youth and Sports and the National Sports Council (NSC) have received R9.2 million and R77.7 million respectively.
Minister Lousteau-Lalanne noted the success of Seychellois athletes at the 2019 Indian Ocean Games in Mauritius. He said we need to continue allocating resources to upgrade the current sports facilities and train our athletes to enable them to compete at international level. In the 2020 budget, Government, has made provision for Seychellois athletes to prepare and participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games. Seychelles is expected to host the “Zwe Lespwar”.

Review of Housing Subsidy Scheme

The Housing Subsidy Scheme, which was launched in 2014, to improve access to affordable construction and home ownership by the targeted section of the population has been revised. Since its inception, a rate of R7,500 per square metre was being used to calculate the subsidy entitlement. Over the years, there have been significant changes in construction costs and other factors.
Until now, a flat rate of R7,500 was applicable on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.
Since building and transportation costs are higher on the inner islands, the rate has been revised:
Mahe: from R7,500 per Sq metre to R8,500
Praslin: R7500 per Sq metre to R9,500
La Digue: from R7,500 per Sq Metre to R12,500

Transport

The rehabilitation and extension of the Victoria Commercial Port is currently on the design stage. The project is expected to go on tender in January 2020, while contruction is envisaged by June.
The Seychelles Port Authority (SPA) considers the investment in seaport infrastructure facilities and equipment as one of the most important elements of its long term strategy, to become competitive and self-sustainable. To allow SPA to continue investing in port infrastructure and equipment, an allocation of R109 million has been budgeted in 2020.
This allocation is for the following projects:

-Relocation of container opening yard at ex-coastguard
- Eve Island Passenger Terminal Building and Infrastructure
- Realignment of seawall at La Digue jetty by 150 metres.
- Purchase of a 40 ton BP tug.
-Purchase of a pilot boat
-Improvement in the port management system

The Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) will be in 5th and final year of implementation of its five-year plan. SCAA has thus been able to use its retained profit to achieve its capital projects to the tune of R237 million. During 2020, SCAA is forecasting an investment of R103 million. Projects include its new office block, terminal concourse refurbishment and road restructuring for improved traffic flow.
SCAA will also invest in the replacement of Air Traffic management software, amountinfg to R26 million to cater for surveillance and other key services in our airspace, which is critical.

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