Zambia: Kabwe Steel Given 3-Week Ultimatum

Labour and Social Security Deputy Minister Rayford Mbulu has given Kabwe Steel Limited a three-week ultimatum to improve the working conditions of its workers or risk being closed down.

Mr Mbulu condemned the company for allegedly not providing workers with adequate protective clothing despite operating in an accident-prone environment.

The deputy minister was speaking in Kabwe yesterday when he carried out inspections at the Chinese company that deals in scrap metal smelting.

Mr Mbulu said the Patriotic Front (PF) Government would not tolerate any investor who did not comply with the labour laws.

"I am very disappointed that workers have no protective clothing and I am giving you three weeks in which to improve the situation," he said.

Mr Mbulu said the Government would not tolerate companies disregarding labour laws.

He said the Government would not interfere in the running of companies by investors but warned that it would not allow economic development at the expense of the Zambian people.

Mr Mbulu also inspected San He Zambia Limited, a Chinese company and Zambia Aluminum Lead Copper Ore (ZALCO) Company and advised the companies to continue adhering to the Government's labour laws and policies.

He said his ministry had greatly changed its mandate from concentrating more on social matters to economic issues to rejuvenate the ministry to carry out its roles effectively and efficiently.

Meanwhile, Central Province Minister Philip Kosamu called on the deputy minister to send more labour officers to the province.

Mr Kosamu said the labour department in the province had limited staff and stressed the need for more staff to be recruited for the department to respond effectively to issues of labour.

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