Zambia: Chamber of Mines Bemoans Low Manufacturing Base

THE Zambia Chamber of Mines (ZCM) has blamed the dismal participation of local suppliers in the mining supply chain on the country’s manufacturing base.

Acting chief executive officer Talent Ng’andwe said there was need to do more in expanding the local manufacturing base.

“Mining houses are ready to give contracts and supplying opportunities to locals, but what usually happens is that, when a local contractor or supplier gets a job from the mining companies, they rush to go and buy materials from outside, thereby defeating the purpose of local empowerment as most of the money ends up outside the country,” Mr Ng’andwe said.

He said in an interview in Kitwe that stakeholders should not base their judgement on the mines’ contribution to the Gross Domestic Product alone but look at the bigger picture.

He said contrary to the public view that mines’ contribution to the economy was minimal, it supports a cross spectrum of sectors through supply and contracting linkages.

Mr Ng’andwe said apart from contributions, the mining companies commit to the national treasury through various taxes.

He reminded stakeholders that recent reports by cooperating partners indicated that US$3 billion to $5 billion had been spent on local supplying and contracting jobs.

“Mining houses are spending a lot on local suppliers and contractors, although there is need to strengthen the country’s company law, it is very weak.

“According to the company law, anyone who registers a company is treated as local, hence making it difficult to distinguish between an indigenous and a foreign company,” he said.

Source: The Times of Zambia