Mines Minister, Paul Kabuswe says government is working on the new local content policy which will enable local mine suppliers and contractors to get quality jobs from the mines.
Mr Kabuswe said a team of Ministers working on the policy is yet to arrive on the appropriate figures.
Speaking in Kitwe during the Association of Mine Suppliers and Contractors mining symposium, Mr Kabuswe said government is not going to allow local contractors to pick crumbs from the mining sector but will ensure that they become key players.
” The new local content will soon be announced, we are yet to agree on the figure of businesses that should be a preserve of local suppliers and contractors, as government we realize that the benefits of the mining sector lies in the activities around it,” he said
And Mr Kabuswe challenged local suppliers and contractors to apply for mining licenses so that they can start running small scale mines.
And Mr Kabuswe has disclosed that government is in talks with Vedanta Mineral Resources to address the challenge at the mine which was put under liquidation after the previous government revoked the mining license from Vedanta Resources.
“It might look like government is slow in resolving the issues around KCM and Mopani because there is a lot of rot in the two deals which we are now cleaning up, all l can tell you is that both the Mopani Glenco deal and the liquidation of KCM were rotten, but we are in talks with Vedanta Resources, as it is there can be no solution to the KCM issue without sitting on a round table with Vedanta,” he said.
The Minister also disclosed that government has received overwhelming interests from prospective investors in Mopani.
He however stated that government will be careful in selecting an equity partner because it does not want to work with crooks.
And Association of Mine Suppliers and Contractors president, Coster Mwansa appealed to government to look into the plight of local suppliers and contractors because they are the ones that support the mining sector even in bad times like now.
Mr Mwansa said mines have continued giving preference to foreign suppliers when things are going well at the expense of the local ones.
“Today as we speak our two mines on the Copperbelt are not attractive anymore to our foreign colleagues but for us we have continued to supply despite the current challenges, should these mines begin to do better, we will see mines giving business to foreign multinationals at the expense of local suppliers,” he said.
Mr Mwansa further appealed to the government to quickly assent into law the local content policy so that local suppliers can grow and start making meaningful contributions to the economy.
And Mopani Copper Mines Chief Services Officer, Justine Ndhlovu said the mining company has put in place initiatives aimed at promoting the participation of local suppliers and contractors through initiatives like its Chief Executive Officer’s interactions with vendors and the simplification of the registration process for the suppliers.
Mr Ndhlovu said the company will soon introduce the online vendor registration process to enable more suppliers and contractors to register with the company.
The reason local suppliers and contractors are begging for crumbs is that the mines aren’t in Zambian hands. We’ll continue to beg for crumbs for as long as it remains so. We tried to tackle this matter when Nervers Mumba was VP so count how many years have passed and the matter is still outstanding. It’s not new and it doesn’t mean that those before you never tried. For example some companies would give 400 local suppliers a combined total of $800,000 in business but award 1 foreign supplier or contractor a single contract worth $5M with a 60% down payment and claim that they’re dealing with mostly local suppliers. But look at the difference in figures!
Just like you’re helping marketeers, help artisanal and small scale miners to graduate into large scale through provision of equipment and technics. We’ll only record real growth in the economy when many Zambians have means of production.
But on the mines kwena as much i dont much about them cos iam from Southern, What killed our capacity to own mines is not Government cos infact, all mines where GRZ owned during the KK days but even with that, no single profit came from these , they were merely very large white elephants. Hunger was everyehere and infact we were eating yellow maize from America the maize meant for grazing cattle. Imagine we were 100% owners of the mines but eating imported “cow” maize which we also didnt buy but donors imported it using their money(people who dont own mines) to feed us. So point 1: is Capacity (Knowledge on how to mine, process, market, sales, competition etc). I doubt knew where to sell these metal but these private companies thats what they get to know before they start digging.
Secondly , Chiluba came, and out of a corrupt mindset , sold everything that was Zambian owned. Literally everything and that money dissapered in thin air. He was together with Edith Nawakwi and Alexander Chikwanda. I wont talk of HH cos HH was not in government & had no authority to decide on anything. Chiluba & Nawakwi sold the mines. Anyway, after the sale, HUnger was still everywhere, this time it was the birth of the Big Corrupt Zambian society. Chiluba birthed CORRUPTION into the Zambian people partiularly Lusaka & worse CB. The small contractors would get a contract only to letter sell his certificate to a China man. Corruption! This is the major problem till today cos we now ve capacity & slighlty know where to sell. But i think we need to work/share with the big firms for a true…
…..Value. THey know where to sell for a good price. If you give everything to a Zambia today – nothing will happen , just like in the KK days. THey wont reinvest the profits , instead they ll be always frequenting shopping malls showing off there that iam a mine owner , ninebo boss. You dont see these large corporations in malls everyday, cos they are back at the mines working & hunting for new buyers of Copper etc(which happen to be their friends back in Europe /US etc). No black person copper to produce anything. If a black buys copper he is only buying to resell it. Right here is a disadvantage so we need to work closely and fairly with people who understand the value of it. To say if i buy it, will produce a bracelet or ring, or cup or pot from it.
It’s all talk and zero action
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