By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
PRIVATE sector players have agreed to create safe corridors for smooth movement of goods on major designated routes used by Zambian transporters following the supply chain disruptions in South Africa.
The players have indicated that there was an anticipated disruption in the supply chain of raw materials for the local private sector players importing directly from that country or for those goods passing through South Africa.
The private sector representative includes the Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM), Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI), Zambia Chamber of Mines (ZCM) and Transporters Association of Zambia (TAZ).
On July 16, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary, Mushuma Mulenga, met with the private sector representatives to discuss the unfolding events in South Africa and come with proactive measures to redress the situation.
During the deliberations chaired by Mr Mulenga, who informed the gathering that Government had commenced engagements with the South African counterparts, to help address the current situation.
They indicated that due to the public unrest in South Africa, there was an anticipated disruption in the supply chain of raw materials for the local private sector players importing directly from that country or for those goods passing through South Africa.
“While the impact may not be seen immediately, there is already a visible reduction in the number of trucks entering the country from the Southern border post and especially through the Kazungula border,” the players sated.
At the end of the discussion, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry provided feedback to the private sector players and mutually agreed to the need to enhance security measures that guarantee the safety of trucks, goods and drivers on the routes used by the Zambian transporters.
Recommendations were made to waive penalties on expired VISAs for truck drivers for trucks parked in safe designated parks in South Africa.
The gathering also agreed to the need for the creation of safe corridors for the smooth movement of goods on the major designated routes that Zambian truckers use, including a possibility of armed escort.
A request was made to the private sector players to provide information on the goods being used by the local industry, that are currently in South Africa, or at the ports, to allow counterparts in.