• This is an indication that the country is not developing as expected.
• The negative growth rate is due to less construction activities in 2022.
• In 2022, contractors had less activity due to a number of large projects which government decided to terminate.
Zambia Association of Citizen Contractors (ZACCO) says the negative 11.2 percent growth rate recorded by the construction sector in 2022 is an indication that the country is not developing as expected.
Speaking to Money FM News, Association General Secretary, Danny Simumba said this has been confirmed by ZamStats who have highlighted that the construction sector recorded a negative 11.2 percent growth rate last year.
Mr. Simumba attributed the negative growth rate to less construction activities in 2022 as well as government’s decision to terminate a number of large projects including the recent termination of 197 feeder roads projects.
“We are concerned as an Association that the construction sector has recorded a negative growth rate in the year 2022. This is has been confirmed by ZamStats where they have highlighted that the construction sector recorded a negative 11.2 percent growth rate, this is not an indicator we should be proud of, it means that the country is not developing as it should.”
“In 2022, we saw that contractors had less activity, there were very few major projects to talk about, obviously this could be attributed to a number of large projects which government decided to terminate and obviously even the recent termination of 197 feeder roads projects could be as a result,” Mr. Simumba stated.
He noted that most of the major roads are deplorable and nothing was done in 2022 to change the state of affairs, coupled with less activity in the school infrastructure , hence the sector failed to contribute positively to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“This indicator shows that we need to do more if we are to deliver development, to our people. What is more concerning is that even the Agriculture sector and other sectors have also contributed negative growth rate meaning that we have a number of unemployed people because when you terminate a contract, you are simply sending away those unskilled people working on these construction sites out of employment,” he stated.
Mr. Simumba further called on government to prioritize the construction sector together with the agriculture sector because the economy cannot be transformed by neglecting infrastructure development.
“If you are to diversify the economy of the country from minerals to agriculture, you need to invest more in the sector, you need to invest more in infrastructure development because you cannot transform the economy by neglecting infrastructure of the country. For you to move the economy forward you must have robust and good infrastructure in place.”
“There must be good roads, there must be good health facilities, you must have proper school infrastructure to deliver quality education, so infrastructure is key and we need to see that the potential is unlocked. It shouldn’t be only through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Model, government should come in with other intervention mechanisms to ensure that infrastructure is funded so that it can once again contribute immensely to the GDP of the country.