Zambia Ex-Miners Association president Lucky Zulu says the deployment of mining technologies will continue to cause unemployment in the mining sector.
Zulu stated the coming in of automation in the mining industry gives no guarantee for re-employment.
“Most of these mines don’t require a lot of workforce to operate. Therefore we cannot continue to do business as usual, this is call for us to diversify from being employees to becoming employers with the skills we have learnt from the mines,” he said.
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Zulu said in an interview with the Zambia Monitor on Monday in Mufulira that amongst the former miners have skills in many areas, which should be utilised.
He said the government should come up with deliberate programmes to link farm blocks owned by ex-miners to financial institutions in order to get loans/grants.
This, Zulu, said that they will support them with loans/grants, market linkages and collaborating partners such as SNV International and the International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD) among others.
“We ask for empowerment programme specifically tailored to support ex-miners economic activities,” he said.
Zulu stated the the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) should have a component to support innovations being done by ex-miners.
He said government should free up more land in districts such as Mufulira,Luanshya,Lufwanyama so that a lot more ex-miners could engage in agricultural activities.
“Instead of waiting for government to clear roads in the farm blocks we request for licences to clear trees only in areas earmarked for feeder roads which we can sell to support the project,” Zulu said.
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