• There is not a single Zambian contractor who can put up an international standard bituminous road.
• Previous governments have not insisted on them being empowered so that they can grow.
• Government has strengthened the law on NCC and ZPPA Act to ensure that 20% participation is meaningful.
Minister of Infrastructure and Urban Development says local contractors do not have capacity to undertake major road projects in the country due to lack of support.
Speaking in an interview with Money FM News, Engineer Charles Milupi said the previous governments did not make it a priority for the contractors to be empowered so that they can grow and have skills transfer when working with international contractors.
Engineer Milupi noted that currently, there is no local contractor who can put up an international standard bituminous road because they have not been given an opportunity to grow, 57 years after Independence.
“In terms of major roads, there is not a single Zambian contractor who can put up an international standard bituminous road at the moment because we have not given them an opportunity to grow. This is 57 years after Independence but we still have roads being constructed by foreign companies, sometimes even primary Schools.”
“That is why even when we say 20 percent will be done by Zambians, you find that maybe some of the works they do are not major works,” Engineer Milupi said.
Meanwhile, Engineer Milupi revealed that government has strengthened the law on National Council for Construction (NCC) and also Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) Act to see to it that the 20 percent participation of local contractors is meaningful.
“Local contractors are not undertaking major works for the simple reason that they do not have capacity because previous governments have not insisted on them being empowered so that they can grow and have skills transfer when they work with international contractors and this is one of the things that we are working on.”
“We have strengthened the law on National Council for Construction (NCC) and also the ZPPA Act to ensure that the 20 percent participation of Zambian contractors is meaningful participation and that way they will grow. So in a number of years, they will be able to undertake this work,” he added.