Cabinet has approved the introduction of regulations for preferential thresholds for local suppliers in the mining sector, authorities say.
Chief Government Spokesperson, Cornelius Mweetwa, stated that Cabinet resolved that it was important for government to ensure that local suppliers of goods and services were given priority to do business with the mining companies.
Mweetwa said this in a statement issued in Lusaka on Sunday.
He said the decision by Cabinet would result in increased participation of local suppliers in the supply of goods and services in the mining sector.
“This will also strengthen partnerships with foreign companies to facilitate skill transfer and ultimately contribute to job and wealth creation,” Mweetwa stated.
He noted that various stakeholders, including government, were concerned with the challenges currently faced by local suppliers of goods and services in the mining sector, as they were expected to compete against well-established foreign companies.
Mweetwa said most mining companies award foreign suppliers high value contracts for goods and services while local suppliers were mostly awarded low value contracts, a situation which Cabinet feels should change going forward.
“It must be noted that other countries, within the region, have adopted policies and legislation that promote preferential treatment and it was just important that Zambia adopts such policy decisions,” he stated.
Mweetwa said this was in order for the local suppliers of goods and services to expand their businesses and fully participate in the growth of the economy for the good of every Zambian.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Information and Media said Cabinet approved the publication and introduction in Parliament of the Bill entitled “The Minerals Regulation Commission Bill, 2023.”
“The objectives of this Bill include, among others, to establish the Minerals Regulation Commission and provide for its functions; regulate and monitor the development and management of mineral resources and the establishment of the Mining Appeals Tribunal,” he stated.
Mweetwa explained that currently, the Mines and Minerals Development Act, 2015, does not adequately provide for, among others, the establishment of the Minerals Regulation Commission and the effective and efficient regulation.
He added that it also did not provide for monitoring of compliance and carrying out of enforcement activities in the mining sector.
“The has resulted in challenges such as increase in illegal mining activities, environmental degradation, poor occupational health and safety standards, unsustainable exploration and mining methods, as well as loss of Government revenue,” Mweetwa added.
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