Thursday, September 12, 2013

RDA warns Chinese resisting to sub-contract road works
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Tue 27 Aug. 2013, 14:00 CAT

CHINESE contractors are resisting to sub-contract the mandatory 20 per cent of their road contracts to local contractors, reveals Road Development Agency chief executive officer Charles Mushota.

Mushota has threatened to terminate road contracts of foreign contractors that refuse to sub-contract 20 per cent of their road contracts to local contractors.

The PF regime has made it mandatory that all government contracts being implemented in the road sector, with a specific emphasis on the current 8,000 Link Zambia Project, must be 20 per cent locally sub-contracted to build capacity of indigenous local engineers and economically empower people .

Mushota revealed that while most foreign contractors have had no problems implementing the requirements, some Chinese contractors were resisting working with Zambians.

He cited AVIC International Project Engineering Company, the company contracted to rehabilitate about 400 kilometres of Lusaaka roads in a project called L400 and Sinohydro, as some of the Chinese firms he chided.

The L400 which is a four-year project is expected to see massive transformation of existing city roads and create thousands of jobs for unemployed youth.

"We did receive some reports in the last two days that some contractors were resisting to this," Mushota said last week during a public discussion in Lusaka.

"But to those which were brought to my attention and I would not be shy to mention the two companies - one of the company is the one contracted to do the L400 and I personally called the man in charge. I didn't have a nice time with him, I should admit."

He warned that he would terminate road contracts where foreign contractors had refused to embed the right threshold of local components in their works.

"Even if L400 was a loan from the Eximbank of China, I think I was ready to advise the government that if this is the way to go, they would rather do away with L400. And I should report that I received a call from China, the principals of L400, were trying to be very apologetic and I told them that God gave you two ears so that you can listen more and talk less but you its opposite and I think those are on L400, if you approach them, I think the attitude is different," said Mushota.

"The other company where I got a report was Sino hydro. I phoned Sinohydro and I gave them my piece. Also, I did instruct my director construction and rehabilitation that we should meet all the contractors because the resistance is not from all contractors but mostly it's from the Chinese contractors. They are a couple of success stories but at the same time, there is some resistance from the contractors but I can assure you that we are going to deal with them because the government has told us to implement the policy..."

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