By PETER SICHALI
LOCAL contractors have the capacity to undertake big projects, National Association for Medium and Small-Scale Contractors (NAMSSC) president Mutale Mpepo has said.
Mr Mpepo said it was disappointing that local contractors had been restricted to small jobs such as construction of drainages.
He said it was high time local contractors started receiving a fair share of big contracts as opposed to only empowering foreign ones.
Mr Mpepo said the trend of giving all big construction contracts to foreign firms had affected the country’s economic growth because money was being paid to foreign firms which eventually took the funds to their home countries.
Local contractors, he said, had developed capacity to compete with foreign contractors in the construction sector.
He Government should come up with deliberate empowerment programmes for local contractors to enable them compete favourably with foreign firms which were heavily subsidised.
Mr Mpepo said Government should introduce policies that would allow local contractors compete for big projects and grow the country’s construction sector.
He said empowering local contractors would help grow the economy as money would remain within the country.
“It is very important that local contractors are also awarded big contracts because this will grow the country’s construction sector,” Mr Mpepo said.