Saturday, August 22, 2009

Road constructors call for policy on emerging contractors

Road constructors call for policy on emerging contractors
Written by Kabanda Chulu
Saturday, August 22, 2009 5:25:11 AM

ROAD construction graduates at the National Council for Construction (NCC) yesterday challenged the government to create a deliberate policy to compel large international firms to sub-contract a fraction of their contracts to local emerging contractors.

During a graduation ceremony of small scale labour based road rehabilitation contractors in Lusaka at the NCC training school and speaking on behalf of the graduates Litemo Limited of Kaoma director Kenneth Chinganzi said most advertisements for construction jobs disqualify the last two grades [five and six] where most new companies were categorised.

"We are aware that most jobs are beyond the capability, scope and management of these grades and such works can only be managed by competently by those in higher grades, who are predominantly international firms," Chinganzi said.

"However, government should create a deliberate policy to compel international companies to sub-contract a fraction of such complex jobs to the local emerging contractors so that the country can benefit in technology transfer and build of financial bases of those emerging contractors."

He said the recent acquired equipment from China was underutilised.

"Government should allow us access the pieces of equipment it recently acquired from China at affordable rates and within five years local contractors will be financially sound to be able to import such equipment instead of the state," said Chinganzi.

And DANIDA technical adviser Mike Knowles said the Danish government was committed to support the road sector in Zambia and would provide K369.8 billion [DKK 400 million] for rehabilitation of selected main and district roads in Luapula and Western provinces.

And director of buildings Whiteson Ngulube said the construction sector had a major influence on Zambia's development whose economic activities depends on the state of infrastructure, especially the road network.

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