Govt empowers transporters


WE HAVE the capacity to ferry any amounts of fuel that Government procures into the country, the Petroleum Transporters Association of Zambia (PTAZ) has said.

PTAZ secretary general Benson Tembo said his association will not disappoint Zambians especially after Government came to its aid

He said his association was not under pressure to transport the commodity into the country after being awarded the 20 percent transportation contracts on all fuel procured by Governmnet because Zambian transporters had the capacity to ferry any amount of fuel.

Mr. Tembo said from the time the transporters started receiving the contracts from Delta Energy and Dalbit, most transporting companies had actually acquired new trucks.

He said all the money that was going to other countries was now remaining in Zambia because foreign companies had lost businesses after the OMCs agreed to honour the contractual obligation as directed by Governmnet. “We cannot disappoint Governmnet after what it has done for us. We have to prove to the country that our demand for contracts from OMCs was not without justification and that is what we have demonstrated so far. We are transporting the fuel from other countries and we are also distributing the commodity within the country and so far, we have been very efficient.

“Even if Governmnet decides to increase its purchases on fuel stocks, we will cope with the pressure because right now, there are transporting companies which have bought tankers as a result of the readily available business in the sector. Added to that, PTAZ has also bought tankers to maximise its operations and this means we are equal to the task,” Mr. Tembo said.

He said Government’s intervention into the matter had transformed businesses in the sector by improving the quality of life among support staff in the industry.

“Even the drivers that were protesting will tell you things have changed. They now have their jobs back. They are always on the road and this means that their income base has increased as opposed to what was happening in the past where their trips were unpredictable. Right now there is no single company whose trucks are idle.

“As a result of Government’s intervention, the country is no longer losing revenue through the exporting of jobs to other countries as our jobs are safe and this is what we have been looking forward to. We sincerely thank Government for its gesture because it has not only transformed the local businesses, but the lives of the workers in the sector,” he said.