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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Zambia and South Africa working on smooth flow of essential goods and services, during the COVID-19 lockdown

Economy Zambia and South Africa working on smooth flow of essential goods and...

Zambia and South Africa have formed a private sector working group to create a framework that is targeted at ensuring the smooth flow of essential goods and services, during the COVID-19 lockdown of most Southern African Development Community countries.

Deputy Secretary to Cabinet Christopher Mvunga will chair the working group.

At the economic sustainability and emergence purpose meeting held in Lusaka, Thursday, the two countries discussed the necessity of ensuring that South African Chain Stores operating in Zambia open their doors wider to local producers and suppliers to ensure that there is business continuity and empowerment during the Covid-19 period and beyond.

Zambia was represented at the economic sustainability and emergence purpose meeting held at the Ministry of National Development Planning by Fisheries Minister Professor Nkandu Luo, Development Planning Minister Alexander Chiteme, Commerce Minister Christopher Yaluma, Transport and Communication Minister Mutotwe Kafwaya and Finance Minister Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu.

Others were Development Planning Permanent Secretary Chola Chabala, Monitoring and Evaluation Permanent Secretary Daniels Chisenga, Commerce and Industry Permanent Mushuma Mulenga, and ZRA Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda.

The Zambian private sector was represented by officials from the Zambia Association of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Zambia Association of Manufacturers, Zambia National Farmers Union, Zambia Horticultural Association, and Zambia Private Sector Alliance.

South Africa was represented by the South African High Commission and members of the Association of South African Businesses in Zambia.

Speaking at the event, Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu, who was also the convenor and Chairperson, said the Zambian Government has placed sustenance of the value chain and continued empowerment of local businesses at the centre of its economic sustainability and emergence purpose plans for the immediate term and the future.

Dr Ng’andu took the opportunity to encourage the Zambian private sector to rump-up participation in the value-chain and take advantage of the internal market platforms while maintaining quality standards, regular supply and stable prices to the greatest extent possible.

And South African High Commissioner George Nkosinati Twala said his office is ready to work with Zambian authorities to facilitate strengthened engagement between private sector players of the two countries and ensure that the value and supply chains are kept in motion.

Mr. Twala called for a proactive review of trade and economic affairs that need to be reviewed in the entire value chain to ensure a fast paced programme that will mount a lasting positive impact on the future economic relations between the two countries.

Among the other key issues discussed was import substitution, mutual market access, supplier payment systems, banking and financial services, transport and logistics, smoothening of regulatory matters, border clearance and transit insurance, and the creation of the Zambia and South Africa working group on trade and economic facilitation during Covid-19 and beyond.

Making a contribution to the deliberations, Livestock Minister Professor Luo said her Ministry was in the process conducting an inventory of livestock import-export permits..

She added that Covid-19 had presented an opportunity for the country to adopt an evidence based approach in assessing the impact of fresh and processed cross-border consumer products on the health and well-being of citizens.

And National Development Minister Alexander Chiteme said as a term of reference for the working group, the issue of rental charges in major shopping malls located in different parts of the country needs to be examined conclusively to ensure that Zambian businesses are accommodated on more affordable terms and conditions especially now that Covid-19 had impacted negatively.

Transport and Communications Minister Mutotwe Kafwaya assured the meeting that his Ministry had commenced engagement with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders in the logistical-chain in order to develop guidelines and rules for cross-border transporters during the Covid-19 lockdown period in some SADC Countries.

Speaking at the same event, Shoprite General Manager Charles Botha said the chain store buys 43% of its goods from the local market and 39% from local agents who import from outside the country.

He stated that the shop only imports 18% and took the opportunity to encourage local small-scale businesses to form cooperatives and benefit from economies of scale, value addition and quality and business improvement schemes.

ZACCI President Jerome Kawesha called on South African Chain Stores to engage the Zambian private sector regularly and deal with the perception that they deliberately constrain access of local producers and suppliers into their supermarkets and other businesses such as hotels.

“We would like to see South African businesses in Zambia signing off-take agreements with our people [local businesses],” said Dr KAWESHA while the ZAM representative ROSETTA CHABALA added that during this period, “there is need to exhaust local supply capacity before resorting to imports.”

After South-Africa, Angola and Tanzania in that order, the Zambian economy is the fourth largest in the fourteen member SADC Region. South Africa is a member of the powerful G20 and the BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] economic groupings, while Zambia is also a member Africa’s biggest trade block, COMESA, whose headquarters it also hosts.

The Zambian Government team also held a meeting with the Business Council Emergency Task Force Against Covid-19, at which the Chairperson, Jason Kazilimani proposed some measures for consideration by the Government, such as prohibiting and curtailing speculative trading in the Kwacha, promoting close engagement of the banking and financial services sector and Covid-19 affected borrowers to forestall business stagnation and closures, facilitation of the importation of fuel and fertilizer by the private sector, cutting all non-priority expenditure from the budget and examining the full impact of the employment code of 2019 on businesses during Covid-19.

Dr Ng’andu thanked the BCET team for the presentation and reiterated the Government’s commitment to work closely with the private sector, investors and other cooperating partners in developing solutions that will result into the best case scenario for the economy under the current Covid-19 circumstances.

This is according to a statement issued by Ministry of Finance spokesperson Chileshe Kandeta.

14 COMMENTS

  1. The usual talk shops …just tell RSA to open the ports and let haulage through imagine if the rest of the world stopped Cargo ….this where a President needs to speak up publicly!

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  2. Christopher my learned brother, this is what we like to see. This is the reason you were appointed to such an important role. Great work guys. We have to continue surviving and find ways to ensure business as usual activities during these hard times. I like this approach. However, now we await criticisms and hating comments from the usual suspects in diaspora. 3..2..1 here we go swaaaaaa

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  3. There are nine(9) names mentioned above as Government representatives from the Zambian side. Pls everyone look up those names,u ll see that its all Bemba names. Where are all those people saying Tongas are tribalist? I think Tongas are tribalists by talking & not by action.Cos not even UPND is this tribal but its an opposition party.In my whole life i ve never seen such a tribal line up in Zambia not even in soccer. But nayo soccer except for Kalusha Bwalya who used to field in his talentless brothers & friends.

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  4. By the way Kaizer they left u also …so be the first one to tell me about tribalist now. Which region is truly tribal? Use yo brains, dont use yo ass to think Kaizer Zulu. I know u!

  5. Why does it have to be Zambia and South Africa? Where is SADC and other SADC member countries?
    Failure to think ahead is what Africa is good at. No vision!
    Botswana is in 6 months lockdown and Zimbabwe same. Which route are trucks going to use?
    “Blacks are more likely to be ill-treated on race grounds, but blacks are also more likely to treat other blacks worse than they treat people of other races”, Sifiso Falala, chief executive of Plus 94.

  6. Why should essential commodities come from another country? What if they have a calamity that stops them from manufacturing? What if they start a war within their borders? Where do we get our essentials? We are a hopeless country led by clueless leadership that thinks Zambia is a grocery store for goods made in South Africa. We are supposed to improve manufacturing in our country, and being central would have been even more convenient and profitable. We are now just a transit point, not even a distribution hub. What kind of people are we? Can’t we see that we are have a failed government and leadership that is killing the nation and the aspirations of our youth? How many high school, college and university graduates are we throwing onto the streets every year because we have no jobs to…

  7. … because we have no jobs to offer them? WHY PEOPLE? Why? Are we sure PF is doing what we want them to do? Are we sure our children are supposed to be unemployed as they are today? Are we sure this is how a government must be run? Haven’t we shed tears enough for our children’s anguish? WHY DO WE HAVE TO ACCEPT FAILURE?

  8. The local manufacturer must not exploit the people because of reduced competition from foreign goods. As it is the case with cooking oil

  9. This is the folly of prioritizing the building of Shopping Malls instead of prioritizing local Agriculture and the establishment of Industries! When they lock you down, your prized shopping Malls become empty shells!
    We need to put our development agenda in order! Producers will always be winners and consumers will always be losers!

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  10. Did you pay the full 27 million dollars for electricity to Eskom of SA? And you still owe Mozambique for power supplied the other year? And other debts and Eurobond. Don’t hate me for reminding you of all these kalobas. Goods from South Africa, we are just exporting employment to the other country.

  11. What has Chris really Implemented. He is such a drunken person even during his time in South Africa. Birds of the Same Drunken Feathers. Al they talk about is Foreign Countries. Use this as an opportunity for Zambian Suppliers only, bring back manufacturing you FOOLS.

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  12. “We would like to see South African businesses in Zambia signing off-take agreements with our people [local businesses],” said Dr KAWESHA 

    What have you been doing for the past 5 years ? Sleeping or praying or both..?

    Does it need to be covid 19 and an economy on its knees to make you PF people start seeing sense ???

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  13. No manufacturing industries in Zambia 2020 still depending on imported goods….almost everything is imported in Zambia including matches

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