GOVERNMENT through the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development has directed all foreign Contractors to adhere to the twenty (20) percent sub contraction policy to Zambian contractors across the country.
It is LAW that a minimum of 20 percent of all government funded contracts such as road contracts awarded by the Road Development Agency, Local road authorities and other government institutions be excuted by Zambian owned companies in line with the share holding structure specified in the citizen economic empowerment act no.9 of 2006.
Speaking this morning during the official opening of a Workshop aimed at enhancing local participation in the construction Industry, Acting Housing and Infrastructure Development Minister Hon. Michael Katambo said the 20 percent local contraction policy is law and failure to do so by any company is breaking the law
“The Policy decree on awarding the 20 percent of the works on all road contracts to Zambian Citizens owned companies must be adhered to because failure to do so is tantamount to breaking the law” he said
The Patriotic Front government under the leadership of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu directed that Zambian owned companies be given 20 percent of the contract for them to contribute to the economic and social development by building capacity.
Hon. Katambo said the 20 percent sub-contracting policy is applicable to all civil and road works contracts exceeding 30 million kwacha.
He emphasised that projects that are below 30million should be left for local contractors.
He observed that local contractors are still facing challenges in participating in the road contracts under the 20 percent sub-contacting policy due to number of compounding factors which include among others poor capital and equipment base and failure to secure and engage professionals.
The Minister said this has impacted negatively on project delivery and has inevitably led to poor workmanship.
To address this challenge the Road Development Agency (RDA) in 2015 reviwed the sub contracting act through a consultative process with the objective of addressing the challenges that were not considered in the first set of the guidelines.
Furthermore Mr. Katambo said government through Road Development Agency has created 600 opportunities for local contracting companies in the road construction sector since the introduction of the 20 percent Sub-Contracting policy.
He said they are hopeful that the deliberations of the workshop will be key in re-defining and reaching general consensus on the 20 percent sub-contracting policy by government.
“As government we are elated and hopeful that this workshop will adress and redefine the 20 percent sub-contracting policy” he said.
And speaking at the same event Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Permanent Secretary Engineer Charles Mushota said the 20 percent sub contraction has not yielded its intended good results because some contractors have failed to comply with this policy.
Eng. Mushota said this is in reaction to President Edgar Lungu’s directive of the implementation of the 20 percent subcontract to Zambians by all contractors in the country.
“The Republican President Directed that 20 percent of subcontract be given to Zambians by all contrators in the country” he said
He said government is very desirous to ensure that the 20 percent sub contraction is implemented fully.
Meanwhile, National Council for Construction (NCC) Executive Director Mr Mathew Ngulube has threatened to blacklist foreign contractors failing to implement the twenty (20) percent sub contraction to local contractors.
Mr. Ngulube expressed disappointment that most of the contractors are not abiding to the 20 percent policy.
He however warned local contractors who are in habit of subcontracting their contacts to stop or they will be blacklisted aswell.
Mr Ngulube also urged the local contractors to take their works seriously once they have been contracted to do so.