Tuesday, March 13, 2012
TIME PUBLISHED - Monday, March 12, 2012, 6:32 am
VICE-PRESIDENT Guy Scott says Government has no immediate plans to increase mining taxes but that it expects China Non-Ferrous Corporation Africa (NFCA) Chambishi mine to pay its dues and respect workers.
And Dr Scott has warned that the authorities will not compromise on environmental protection and resettlement of families who will be displaced by NFCA’s planned development of the US$832 million South East Ore Body project.
Speaking shortly before touring NFCA mine in Chambishi yesterday, Dr Scott said the Patriotic Front (PF) Government expects NFCA to paytaxes to enable it to build social infrastructure including roads, hospitals and schools.
“We expect the company to pay tax. In China, when you don’t pay tax, they get cross with you and the PF Government will also get cross with you if you don’t honour this obligation. We are not talking about increasing taxes but we want you to pay what is due to Government,” Dr Scott said.
He also said the PF Government expects workers to benefit from the profits which the mining company is making, in terms of wages.
“I want everyone to work in harmony. Harmony is a good Chinese concept. Management has to respect the rights of workers and follow standard procedure when resolving disputes because workers are human beings who must be respected. But also, we don’t approve stealing by workers,” Dr Scott said.
Dr Scott also warned that Government will not compromise on environmental protection and the resettlement of families who will be affected by NFCA’s development of the South East Ore Body project.
This was after NFCA Chambishi mine deputy chief executive officer Zhou Liang raised concerns that the Zambia Environmental Management Authority is delaying to approve the development of the environmental impact assessment for the project because Hybrid Poultry Farm is concerned that this will negatively affect its business.
Dr Scott said he will soon convene a meeting with all the parties involved to chart the way forward.
“It is clear that I have to convene a meeting with all interest groups. We will not compromise on environmental issues and the resettlement of residents. If you are trying to convince me in the absence of other parties, it will not work,” Dr Scott said.
NFCA chairman Tao Xinhu, who spoke through an interpreter, said NFCA will invest over US$800 million in the ore project which will create 5,000 jobs.
“This project will further strengthen relations between Zambia and China and enhance Zambia’s development,” Mr Tao said.
And Mr Zhou said the NFCA will spend US$260,000 to resettle the families which will be displaced by the project in Mukulumpe and Twashuka areas. NFCA has also donated an ambulance to Kalulushi hospital, an 80 kilowatt generator and a motor bike to Chambishi clinic, all valued at K465 million.
Dr Scott was accompanied by Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication Yamfwa Mukanga, Copperbelt Minister Davies Mwila and Deputy Minister of Mines Richard Musukwa.
[Zambia Daily Mail]