‘CATEGORISE JOBS FOR FOR­EIGN­ERS IN MINES’

Daily Nation Newspaper - - KOPALA NEWS - By NA­TION RE­PORTER

THE

Mines and Min­eral De­vel­op­ments Act must be re­fined so that it clearly states the kind of con­tracts, prod­ucts and jobs which should be given to Zam­bians, As­so­ci­a­tion of Mines Sup­pli­ers and Con­trac­tors (AMSC) Pres­i­dent Au­gus­tine Mubanga has sug­gested.

Mr Mubanga said that Gov­ern­ment should con­sider re­fin­ing Ar­ti­cle 20 of the Mines and Min­eral Devel­op­ment Act num­ber 11 of 2015 which talks about the pref­er­ence for Zam­bian prod­ucts, con­trac­tors, sup­pli­ers and em­ploy­ment of Zam­bian cit­i­zens.

He said in an in­ter­view in Kitwe yes­ter­day that Ar­ti­cle 20 needed to clearly state and cat­e­go­rize a num­ber of is­sues which had not been stated re­gard­ing Zam­bian and for­eign in­vestors.

Ar­ti­cle 20 of the Mines and Min­eral De­vel­op­ments Act num­ber 11 of 2015 states that a holder of a min­ing right or min­eral pro­cess­ing li­cense shall, in the con­duct of min­ing op­er­a­tions or min­eral act pro­cess­ing op­er­a­tions and in the pur­chase , con­struc­tion , in­stal­la­tion and de­com­mis­sion­ing of fa­cil­i­ties, give pref­er­ence to the ma­te­ri­als and prod­ucts made in Zam­bia.

A holder of a min­ing right or min­eral pro­cess­ing li­cense shall, in the course of op­er­a­tions-(a) give pref­er­ence in em­ploy­ment to cit­i­zens with rel­e­vant qual­i­fi­ca­tions or skills, and; con­duct train­ing pro­grammes for the trans­fer of tech­ni­cal and man­age­rial skills to Zam­bians.

Mr Mubanga ob­served that the Act was vague and that it was im­per­a­tive that it clearly stated the kind of con­tracts, prod­ucts and jobs which — Mr Mubanga. should be given to Zam­bians.

He said his as­so­ci­a­tion was happy that the Min­is­ter of Fi­nance Mar­garet Mwanakatwe had hinted on tak­ing the Act to Par­lia­ment so that it could be re­fined.

"In its cur­rent form, the Act does not state what jobs, prod­ucts and ser­vices should be done by Zam­bians. This is why you find for­eign­ers do­ing jobs and sup­ply­ing prod­ucts that can be sup­plied by lo­cal sup­pli­ers and con­trac­tors,'' Mr Mubanga said.

Mr Mubanga said gov­ern­ment should put up nec­es­sary reg­u­la­tions and struc­tures that would help en­force the law and en­sure that Zam­bians were em­pow­ered from the min­eral re­sources.

He said the nec­es­sary reg­u­la­tions should de­fine in ex­plicit terms the part­ner­ship be­tween Zam­bians and for­eign­ers and to what ex­tent should go.

"There is need to ring fence the op­por­tu­ni­ties of Zam­bians in the min­ing sec­tor and other sec­tors of the econ­omy. If min­ing com­pa­nies are say­ing they are spend­ing 80 per cent on lo­cal prod­ucts, we should know 80 per cent against what fig­ure. We should know the fig­ure in terms of pro­cure­ment plan,'' he said.

There is need to ring fence the op­por­tu­ni­ties of Zam­bians in the min­ing sec­tor and other sec­tors of the econ­omy. If min­ing com­pa­nies are say­ing they are spend­ing 80 per cent on lo­cal prod­ucts, we should know 80 per cent against what fig­ure. We should know the fig­ure in terms of pro­cure­ment plan.”

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