THE Private Sector Development Association of Zambia (PSDA) has implored Government to secure credible investment for the mining sector in the wake of threatened closures, adding that Zambia should take a leaf from similar investment in South America’s portfolios like Chile and Brazil.
THE Private Sector Development Association of Zambia (PSDA) has implored Government to secure credible investment for the mining sector in the wake of threatened closures.
PSDA Chairperson Yusouf Dodia said with the dwindling of the economy, Zambia could take a leaf from similar investment in South America’s portfolios like Chile and Brazil.
Mr. Dodia also urged government to be firmly positioned when addressing investor pullout.
He said this when he featured on University of Zambia (UNZA) Radio’s Lusaka Star Magazine program.
“If we base the current situation on past experiences, you will see that time has now come to make mining investors meet their end of the bargain in the country's job security and economic stability,” he said.
Mr. Dodia explained that despite global challenges on the copper prices and the economic conditions, mining investment in other countries are long term.
He said the stability of such investments minimizes job cuts unlike it is in Zambia.
"Time is up for mining firms to be treated with kid gloves by government! When a mine goes on care and maintenance, it's simply keeping operational yet unproductive. This results into less foreign exchange and a further depreciating kwacha," he said.
Mr. Dodia said while some mining firms were on point in their demands for incentives like Value Added Tax (VAT) returns, Government had accorded special treatment through revocation and alteration of certain instruments.
He cited government's tailor suiting Statutory Instrument (SI) 45 and 55 which were a measure of forex external controls and mineral royalty tax at a time metal prices were high and firms were reaping huge profits from the mining sector.
Meanwhile, Konkola Copper Mines claims to be owed over US$ 200,000,000 by government in outstanding Value Added Tax Returns dating back to August 2013.
KCM Chief Executive Officer Steven Din told a media briefing recently that only US$ 60 million has been paid for a period of six months this year.
There have been fears that the current situation in some of the mining companies could transcend into job cuts or closures which is detrimental to the Zambian economy.
But Republican President Edgar Lungu recently said government would not entertain mine job losses in the country.
President Lungu said the current challenges facing the sector were the result of a drop in copper prices at the international markets.
He since called on the labour movement to provide the needed leadership that assures workers of their protection from abuse at their places of work.