By ROGERS KALERO
THE UPND government should not abandon progressive laws and policies which were started by the Patriotic Front (PF) government, the Association of Mine Suppliers and Contractors (AMSC) has said.
AMSC President, Augustine Mubanga, said progressive policies like the Local Content for the mining sector, which the PF government had started should continue under the UPND government.
He said the new administration should come up with the Statutory Instrument (SI) to significantly back Local Content.
In an interview in Kitwe yesterday, Mr Mubanga said his association would engage the new government on four issues namely, the SI on the Local Content, establishment of the Regulator in the mining industry, the revision of the Mines and Mineral Development Act.
He said AMSC would urge the new government to come up with a stable and predictable environment which would support investment in the mining sector.
“From what President Hakainde Hichilema said in his inauguration speech, we are sure that his government will put in place measures that would help the mining industry to grow and develop.
“As the UPND government moves to develop the mining and other sectors, they should not abandon the progressive legislation like the Local Content for the mining sector, which were started by the PF government because they have the potential to stabilise the sector,” Mr Mubanga said.
Mr Mubanga said the new government should also look find an equity partner for Mopani Copper Mines, who will inject more investment in the operations of the giant mining company.
He also urged government to resolve issues at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Chambishi Metals PLC so that the sector could continue to contribute effectively to economic development.
“The speech by the republican President brought hope to this country and I must commend the former republican President, Edgar Lungu and his government for various decisions he made to revive the country’s economy.
“It is good that President Hichilema talked about value addition in the mining industry. This value addition can create employment for our youths. So, as AMSC, we will support this new government in its progressive programmes,” he said.