LAFARGE Zambia has offered to sell 347 housing units to former and current employees both in Ndola and Lusaka with a 35 per cent discount on the actual value.
Lafarge managing director Emmanuel Rigaux said the company had decided to offer about 143 housing units under the Masukani programme to its former employees at a 35 per cent discount.
Mr Rigaux said the company had also offered about 204 housing units in Ndola and Lusaka to current employees, also with the same discount.
Mr Rigaux said at a Press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that the programme involved the sale of existing Lafarge houses in the first phase and would involve the construction of additional housing units that employees could own in the second phase.
"We are here today to announce the offer of houses to former employees under the Masukani programme," Mr Rigaux said. "As you are aware Masukani is an employee housing ownership programme that will be implemented to signify that Lafarge supports employee housing ownership and affordable housing in Zambia."
He said Lafarge had decided to award the 35 per cent discount to former employees that retired or left on separation.Another category of beneficiaries are helpers and contractors who would enjoy a 15 per cent discount.
Mr Rigaux said for the first phase, the existing houses were not only occupied by current employees but also non-Lafarge workers, saying the company decided to extend the offer to them as well.
He said the company intended to increase the production capacity both in Ndola and Lusaka, which would create a number of employment opportunities, as it was committed to the development of the country and region.
"On the other hand we have to manage our operations in a sustainable manner and we recently embarked on a cost review which has been very comprehensive, which included our raw material and travel expenses, among others," Mr Rigaux said.
"This plan has limited head count impact and the reduction of 30 pensionable and permanent employees but I want to emphasise that the company is providing opportunities to take up early retirement and separation with very attractive packages."
At the same function, Chilanga Member of Parliament Keith Mukata, commended Lafarge for offering the housing units to former employees and non-Lafarge workers.
Mr Mukata said it was gratifying to note that the company was offering a discount on the purchase of the houses.
"I am aware that there are a number of housing units that have been donated to the Government, which is commendable, and my plea is that Lafarge should consider renovating those housing units because they are in a deplorable state," he said.