Govt urged to support ZABS with equipment


THERE is need to sufficiently fund the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) to enable it acquire equipment to carry out diverse tests of products unlike the current scenario where Zambia is exporting jobs and forex, says Zamleather Limited general manager Richard Franklin. In an interview on Monday in Lusaka, Mr Franklin said the local manufacturing industry’s performance was impressive despite the difficulties it was faced with and noted that the export of Zambian products such as shoes and dairy products in the sub-region had taken centre stage and was doing well due to its quality as well as excellence.      He said Zamleather had produced a unique safety boot for the mines as well as other related industries which was of an ISO standard and that during time for product test it was discovered that ZABS did not have the equipment to run the test, hence the process was carried out outside the country, a situation he described as the exportation of jobs and the much needed forex. Mr Franklin commended ZABS for the good work it was doing but observed that the bureau  required more funding to help it acquire equipment to carry out wider tests on a spectrum of products. “The Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) is doing a commendable job to carry out various tests of products to ensure that they meet the required standards. However, I think it needs to be supported more so that it can be able to carry out wider tests of different products. ‘‘Zamleather has produced a unique pair of safety shoes specifically targeted at the mines, it is of an ISO standard, strong, durable and of a high standard. However, ZABS was unable to run the test because it lacked the necessary equipment; so we did the tests outside the country which means that we are exporting jobs and the forex exchange that the country needs,” he said. Mr Franklin bemoaned the looming loss of jobs in the mines, stating that it would adversely affect the firm as the mining sector was the major buyer of their safety boots. He said that apart from the mining industry it received little orders for their safety boots from a diverse sectors of the economy.