Mines blasted for ignoring local suppliers

Wed, 02 Nov 2016 08:56:42 +0000

MINING companies in the habit of ignoring local suppliers in preference to foreign companies in awarding tenders and contracts have angered Government. North-Western Province minister Richard Kapita said most of the mining companies in the country were awarding lucrative tenders for the supply of goods and services to foreign companies while they left poor contracts for the local companies.

Mr Kapita wondered why the mining companies were sidelining local businesses which he said were capable of handling big consignments. He said that he had been receiving a lot of complaints from local business persons about the disparaging tendency of mining companies looking down on them. Mr Kapita has warned that Government would not tolerate such unfair treatment from the mines or any other foreign company operating in Zambia.

He reiterated that local business people were capable of handling huge supplies and there was no need for mining companies to be sabotaging their efforts. Mr Kapita disclosed that over 70 percent of the important orders for the importation of supplies that the mines were using were given to companies based in foreign countries.

“The mines are making reasonable profits and are spending a lot of money on imports to facilitate their operations and unfortunately they are awarding 70 percent of the tenders to foreign companies. ‘‘I have received a lot of complaints from local suppliers that they are only given petty tenders to supply things such as stationery. Otherwise our local business persons are capable of equally handling big consignments. Government won’t tolerate such unfair treatment,” Mr Kapita warned. Mr Kapita challenged the mining companies to avail to him statistics comparing the ratio for foreign companies being awarded contracts to that of the local business people. Meanwhile, First Quantum Minerals’ (FQM) Kansanshi mine general manager Rudi Badenhorst dispelled claims that local companies were marginalised as his company had given Zambian suppliers first priority. Mr Badenhorst, however, explained that local suppliers could not handle certain large orders that the mines needed which he said required businesses with huge capital base.

He disclosed this during a meeting with ministers who toured Kansanshi mines last week that a named local supplier had recently failed to supply materials as requested by the mine. Mr Badenhorst explained that they were giving tenders to South African companies because they had the necessary capital and capacity to deliver the right materials at the right time.

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