• The continuous free falling depreciation of the Kwacha against major convertibles is quickly turning into a serious business nightmare.
• Local small and medium businesses are now experiencing high operational costs.
• Small and medium businesses will start shutting down.
An opposition political party says the continued depreciation of the Kwacha is negatively impacting local small and medium businesses.
Golden Party of Zambia (GPZ) President Jackson Silavwe told Money FM News that local small and medium businesses which employ about 90% of workers outside the formal sector are now experiencing high operational costs owing to the persistent weakening of the local currency which has now hit the K21 mark.
Mr. Silavwe said if the situation is left unchecked, small and medium businesses will start shutting down unleashing more unemployed people to the already existing 8 million job seekers on the market.
“The continuous free falling depreciation of the Kwacha against major convertibles is quickly turning into a serious business nightmare. It is increasingly becoming expensive to run a local business.”
“This trend is negatively affecting the business environment at both local small and medium levels in an import based economy, compounded by the fact that Zambia’s economy is consumer based,” Mr. Silavwe noted.
He called on government to provide tax, levies and statutory incentives to SMEs so as to reduce the cost of doing business and scale up production.
“Government must cap the price of fuel and electricity plus or minus every six months to return business predictability in estimating operational costs and other business overhead costs,” Mr. Silvawe said.
He further called on Government to take over both gold and sugilite mining through Zambia National Service (ZNS) to rake in dollars in the treasury to help the Kwacha gain strength against major convertible currencies.
“There is need for a deliberate economic plan to directly invest in Zambians through Government supported new venture fund startups targeted at indigenous Zambians in agriculture, mining, manufacturing, technology and creative arts. Zambia needs more new local business players with new money,” he added.
Mr. Silavwe also called on President Hakainde Hichilema to convene a National Economic Summit where different stakeholders can present papers to the Government to inform a new economic order for the Country from 2023 to 2033.
The US Dollar is currently buying at Twenty Kwacha Sixty Seven Ngwee and selling at Twenty One Kwacha Eight Ngwee.