Deputy Minister of Labour Rayford Mbulu has declared that government will not allow the Maamba Collieries investment to go to wasted.
Mr. Mbulu said a solution should be found to address the issue of low market for coal in order to sustain jobs.
He said this when he inspected Maamba Collieries Limited (MCL), GRN Construction Company and SEPCO, the company constructing a thermal power plant.
Mr. Mbulu regretted that the poor market for coal has resulted in GRN Construction Company to declare about 53 workers redundant.
He urged Maamba Collieries to address the issue of the quality of coal and the quantity that can be provided so that customers are attracted.
He pointed out that it was not the intention of government to nationalize companies hence it will ensure that many investors were attracted in the country to add value to the lives of people.
“We want investment that adds value to the lives of people. And the investment I have seen here is marvelous. Maamba occupies a critical slot in our economic dispensation because it provides a source of livelihood to the entire Southern Province,” Mr. Mbulu said.
The Deputy Minister also said government will not allow investors to employ expatriates who have the same skills with Zambians.
He said Zambians that have the same qualification with expatriates should be equitably remunerated since they are doing the same jobs.
He further said government would not allow investors to perpetuate casualisation for a job of a permanent nature.
Mr. Mbulu said government should ensure that long term contracts and permanent jobs are encouraged so that people plan for their future.
He has since called for standards that allow people of different nationalities to live in the same residential areas to promote unity in the company rather than the current situation where workers reside according to their nationalities.
And GRN Chief Operating Officer Ganta Ramish urged government to consider helping the mine to improve its market for coal.
Meanwhile, Maamba Collieries Limited (MCL) Chief Operating Officer Gurram Narayana said the construction of the first phase for the thermal power plant, which will be producing 300 mega watts once completed, was progressing well.
Mr. Narayana said the SEPCO construction company will be working 24 hours service to ensure that the thermal power plant was completed according to the schedule.