DEALERS in scrap metal have challenged steel and iron manufacturers to create their own reserves by bidding for raw materials from the mines’ salvage yards rather than influencing the government to impose the export ban of scrap metal.
The government has imposed various measures aimed at developing the steel industry in Zambia because the importation of steel and iron products was affecting local manufacturers.
Other measures include the introduction of 25 per cent duty on importation of grinding mill balls.
But dealers have said the government should level the playing field since local manufacturers offered lower prices that force them to export the raw material.
“We buy scrap by bidding from the mines’ salvage yards and also from the railways (RSZ) at K800,000 per tonne but local companies offer half the amount, so if the measures are aimed at creating reserves, let the local manufacturers also bid from the same source and stop influencing government to ban exports,” stated Siwoende Lutuka Investments Ltd.
“We have employed people and we have borrowed money from banks and we have also signed contracts with steel companies in South Africa hence we appeal to government to give us grace period to fulfill these engagements.”
And reacting to comments made by the Association of Manufacturers that the export ban on scrap metal would increase production of steel and iron, Fabian Chisulo, a dealer said scrap metal prices needed to be revised to international standards.