The Zambia Chamber of Mines has responded to recent protests by truck drivers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over alleged risk allowances for the transportation of mineral loads. The chamber has issued a statement in response to viral social media misinformation, clarifying that no risk allowances are being paid to Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) based trucking companies moving goods for the mines in the DRC.
The Truckers Association of Zambia (TAZ) brought the issue to the attention of the Chamber of Mines, highlighting misinformed claims circulating on social media. The false information alleges that mining companies in the DRC are paying a risk allowance ranging from $500 to $700 per load to SADC-based trucking companies.
The Chamber of Mines, standing by TAZ’s press release from November 8, 2023, categorically denies the existence of any risk allowance for transporters moving mineral loads within the SADC region, particularly those serving its member mines, which constitute the bulk of Zambian production.
Sokwani Chilembo, the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Mines, emphasized that the social media posts inciting mass action based on these false claims are nothing more than fake news and should be ignored. Chilembo urged all queries and clarifications to be directed through the contracted companies that are members of the Truckers Association, emphasizing adherence to the laws of the Republic of Zambia governing the terms of driver engagement.
Zambian law, Chilembo clarified, does not include provisions for any such risk allowances for drivers, and any mass action based on this misinformation would be deemed illegal. The Chamber of Mines echoed the Truckers Association’s call for calm in the transport industry, emphasizing the fragility of the mining sector’s recovery and the potential harm that illegal work stoppages could inflict.
In light of the challenging production landscape in 2023, the Chamber of Mines expressed the hope that transporters and their driver teams will disregard calls for disruptive actions and continue to work without incident in the national interest. The mining sector seeks cooperation and stability to navigate the ongoing challenges and contribute to Zambia’s economic recovery.