Mine Unions on the Copperbelt have been elated by President Hakainde Hichilema’s announcement on the ongoing government efforts to revamp the mining company.
The Mine Unions feel revamping the two mining companies will help create more employment and boost economic activities on the Copperbelt.
Speaking in an interview in Kitwe today, National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) National Treasurer Saul Simujika said the announcement by the President brings relief to the unions and the workers because it assures them that the future of the two mines is still bright.
“We are very happy with the announcement by the head of state as a union because we were not sure if the mines would be operating tomorrow, especially KCM, its future was becoming bleak, we hope the pronouncement will be expedited so that we bring back KCM on truck and Mopani as we feel that there should be capital injection so that the two companies can move forward,” Mr. Simujika said.
And Mine Union of Zambia President Joseph Chewe said the union welcomes President Hichilema’s pronouncement to revamp Mopani Copper Mine and Konkola Copper Mines as that will unlock the potential to produce more copper and create more jobs.
Mr Chewe commended the President for prioritizing the revamping of the two mines adding that has been the union’s call for a long time.
“The commitment by the Head of State to revamp the two mines is encouraging, we have always said let’s resolve the issues around Mopani and KCM, what we want are jobs and the President has shown commitment in revamping the two mining companies,” Mr. Chewe said.
And the Association of Mine Suppliers and Contractors has also welcomed the President’s pronouncement as such will remove panic among suppliers because they did not know the future of the two mines hence they did not know whether to continue supplying to the mining companies or not fearing that the mines may be closed and they lose out their money.
Mr. Mwaba said the two mines are currently operating on a hand to mouth basis which is disadvantageous to the supplies and contractors whose businesses lie mainly on the two mines.
“We however still have one issue which is that when the two mines get a lease of live by way of investment or re-capitalization we must see Zambians benefiting significantly by the law of the local content being effected and if the status quo remains, nothing will change, huge investments will be announced but Zambians will still not be benefiting,” Mr. Mwaba said.
He however said the President did not state if the government will resolve the issues around the two mines by way of re-capitalizing or offer them to investors which he said should have been stated.
President Hichilema announced yesterday during a press briefing at State House that government is making efforts to revamp KCM and Mopani Copper Mines.