Manufacturing sector records 40 p.c. drop
Published On July 22, 2015 » 1669 Views» By Administrator Times » Business, Stories
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By MAIMBOLWA MULIKELELA –

THE manufacturing sector has recorded 40 per cent slump in production as a result of the current power deficit in the country.
The economy in Africa’s second largest copper producer is adversely affected by the power deficit because of low water levels experienced at Kariba Dam.
Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) president Roseta Mwape-Chabala said that manufacturing companies had registered 40-per cent
loss of production due to the current power load-shedding.
Ms Mwape-Chabala said there would be loss of revenue for both industry and the Government due to low production and, therefore, low sales,
resulting in loss of jobs.
She said this in response to a Press query.
Ms Mwape-Chabala said there should be stringent cuts on the domestic use of power to allow industries to continue operating.
“Zesco should be absolute in load-shedding timings. In early or delayed timing, so much damages result in production, especially in the production of plastics,” Ms Mwape-Chabala said.
She said the manufacturers had incurred high production costs since they had to migrate to generator sets for the times they had no electricity.
“Competitiveness in the sector will be a challenge. Delivery schedules cannot be met as a result,” she said.
Ms Mwape-Chabala said Zesco should come up with priority areas during load-shedding, saying the industry should have preferential treatment.
She said it was important for ZAM and Zesco to undertake a comparative study to find out where a unit of electricity consumed was more or less productive.
“ZAM/Zesco with expert assistance should provide power audit/advice services for its members,” she said.
Ms Mwape-Chabala said Zesco should import electricity to cushion the impact on the economy.
“Let the industry know what is going on with regard to remedial actions that are being taken no matter how long the duration of this load-shedding will be.
“Time of use scheduling must be introduced to allow factories to operate at night at a reduced tariff rate to cover night shift allowances and shift differentials. Government should tell us how industry can assist in whatever is going on,” Ms Mwape-Chabala said.

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