The Road Development Agency (RDA) has failed to implement government’s policy dictating that indigenous Zambian contractors should benefit 20 percent through subcontracting on every contract awarded to foreign contracting companies.
Local contractors have expressed disappointment on the failure by RDA to implement the policy that could have seen a lot of Zambian contractors get empowered by getting 20 percent of all the contracts awarded to foreign companies.
One of the local owned construction company who did not want to be named complained that as much as government would want to empower the local people RDA was frustrating indigenous contractors by failing to implement the policy that was announced by government.
The Citizens Economic Empowerment Act o 9 of 2006, whose overall goal was to contribute to sustainable economic development by building capacity in Zambian owned companies, was getting ignored as Zambians were not benefiting from the policy.
The contractors argued that despite the fact that there had been many appeals to RDA that they were not getting subcontracted by foreign companies, only foreign companies were benefiting at the expense of the local people.
They said that as much as contracts were awarded to foreign entities, the benefits to the such countries would only accrue foreign nationals instead of local companies
Zambian sub contractors many of them were not benefiting on such contracts as they were subjected to Casualisation by foreigners, and sub-contracted their own people.
The local company has however advised RDA to be monitoring such activities to ensure the specific objectives, such as the minimum 20% sub contractors policy were implemented, to improve the prospects of new jobs creation.
They said the work of constructing roads been awarded to foreign companies could have empowered a lot of Zambian people had they been given to local companies.
“This is not to say we should not award contracts to the other nationalities for that matter but where there are clear opportunities to promote the emergence of Zambian enterprises, such opportunities should be seized,” they said.
The government as well should endeavour to empower its own citizens because there are many local Zambian companies that had the capacity to undertake such contracts successfully.”