KANSANSHI Mining Plc has paid K1.8 billion in rates to Solwezi Municipal Council.
Solwezi Mayor Jameson Kapumba confirmed this in an interview on January 20, saying the council received the money from the mining company this week.
“Kansanshi Copper Mines pays K3.6 billion every year to Solwezi Municipal Council in land rates,” he said.
Mr Kapumba said the money realised from the mine is usually used for service provision and opening up new plots for housing and businesses.
He, however, complained that service provision will suffer this year as funds meant for the exercise have been diverted to pay workers their seven months salary arrears.
Mr Kapumba said workers staged a sit-in protest after they heard that the council has received the money from Kansanshi mine.
They demanded to be paid all their salary arrears. He said the workers refused to be paid for two months only.
A check at the council found offices locked and workers loitering around the Civic Centre demanding to be paid their arrears in full.
The workers are owed over K2 billion in salary arrears. Mr Kapumba observed that the money realised from the mine should ordinarily be used for service provision.
He said it was regrettable that council workers were demanding to be paid their arrears from money paid by the mines as land rates instead of raising the money themselves. The mayor stated that workers must follow procedure before resorting to strike actions.
Mr Kapumba said the mine will pay a similar amount in June this year.
[Zambia Daily Mail]