THE Government will maintain the ban on the export of scrap metal to promote value addition in the local steel industry, Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Emmanuel Chenda has said.
Mr Chenda said in Ndola that the demand for scrap metal was high among local foundries and Government would not allow activities that will derail the growth of the local steel industry.
He said the Government policy was to promote value addition to scrap metal so that more jobs were created for the Zambian people in steel manufacturing.
“It is important to stress that scrap metal has value to promote growth in the local steel industry.
“Local foundry dealers are in need of easy access to scrap and if exports were allowed at this point, it would be too costly for steel producers to operate and people will lose jobs,” he said.
Mr Chenda said dealers of scrap metals should offer competitive pricing so that steel processors continue to produce above the local demand for such products.
He said the Government would protect the scrap metal industry from uncompetitive practices such as smuggling that stifle business growth.
Mr Chenda said Government has embarked on continuous programmes to promote investment in the production of lime and cement from the natural endowment.
“Zambia cannot continue to struggle when there is so much natural endowment to promote the production of products like lime and cement.
There is massive infrastructure development going-on which calls for investment to be encouraged in this sector,” he said.
Mr Chenda said because Zambia was operating a liberalised economy, Government would strike a balance with the private sector to promote a win-win situation regarding the flow of business in the country.
The move by the Government has elated the Foundryman Association of Zambia (FMAZ), adding that the measure would ensure value-addition and growth in the non-ferrous metal industry.
FMAZ chairperson Eugene Appel said in Ndola that scrap was a vital commodity in the production of durable goods that could earn the country a lot of revenue when exported as finished products.
“Value addition on any raw material will improve the country’s annual return and the worth of scrap should not be underrated,” Mr Appel said.
He said Non-ferrous metals were on high demand locally as they were mostly used in industrial activities inluding mining.
Mr Appel said mining companies in Zambia should give preference to buying such products locally as entrepreneurs here had the capacity to meet the demand for the products.