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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

‘Wither Zambia’s copper production reputation’ …………As Chile tops all at 6 mln despite calamities

Zambia's copper output under threat from emerging producers.pix: si.wsj.net


Aug. 24 (Zambia Informer)--------Zambia,  once rated Africa’s second top producer has slid one step backwards among the top rated countries as operations at some mining companies slumped on account of policy related concerns.

The declining of copper production of roughly 92,000 tons was relative to 2014 at Lumwana Mine, a unit of Toronto listed Barrick Gold because of higher royalties in Africa’s second copper producer, forced the country to slide to ninth position last year, a report says.

The failure by ‘Greenfield’ Lumwana mine in north western Zambia to live to expectation and remain in full operations saw Zambia produce low than anticipated 600,000 tons of the red metal last  year, giving away its eighth position to Canada which mined 695, 000 metric tons, a report compiled as at 31 July this year says.

A report by global metal monitor, investingnews.com/daily/resource, says Zambia’s copper reputation was under test last year after it continued to slide towards the lowest ebb, from four attained in the early 1970s to ninth on the top 10 copper producing countries.

Zambia has been rated among the top four globally, since the early 1970s, despite the country having been mining a paltry 270,000 metric tons of the red metal, where it remained until recent years when it waned.  Zambia’s copper mining recorded spurns decades since the early 1930s.

Zambia’s revision of mineral royalties of between six to nine percent for open pit mining and a maximum of 30 percent for underground mining for all mining operations in the copper rich southern African state raised eyebrows among producers, many that feared for their security of tenure on their investments, ultimately dragging their production which affected targets for 2014.

However, the revision of the mineral royalties, which forced many foreign mining companies to revisit their investment plans, prompted the Zambia’s Government to reconsider the policy which was by April reviewed and the decision was rescinded in accordance with the desires of the stakeholders in the sector, Zambia’s lifeblood.

Accordingly, while copper prices have been on the downward trend for some time, losing roughly 26 percent in 2015 with the red metal having gained back some ground since the start of 2016, but is still sitting well below the $3-per-pound mark, largely due to a decrease in demand growth from top consumer China, Chile has remained top with 6 million tons of production.

With world copper supply having not dropped as much as one might expect, according to a research by US Geological Survey (USGS) and global copper production inching up 200,000 tons for a total of 18.7 million tons in 2015, despite reports of production cuts from major miners, Chile remained top and mined at 5.7 million tons as of last year.

Chile’s buoyancy was against the earthquakes, heavy rains and strikes in 2015 on its mine sector, although the outturn dropped  by  a paltry 50 tons,  relative to 2014. Still,  the report adds, mine production came in well below initial estimates for the year. Chile was initially expected to produce about 6 million tonnes in 2015, according to the report seen by Zambia Informer.

China, the traditional world’s consumer, emerged second with 1.75 million metric tons,
coming in with only a slight decrease in production relative to 2014. Late in 2015, nine of the country’s largest copper smelters announced that they would cut production by more than 200,000 tons this year in an effort to support copper prices.

Others were Peru on third position with 1.6 million metric tons falling short of its goal of overtaking China to become the world’s second-largest copper producer. However, it did see a drastic increase in production, jumping from 1.38 million tons in 2014 to 1.6 million tons last year.

It is however projected that with a number of major projects set to come online in 2016, Peru’s copper production is expected to increase by 66 percent this year; reports in Peru are cited as saying.

The United States was rated fourth at 1.25 million metric tons, recording a drop of about eight percent  last year, chiefly on account of  decreases in production in Utah and Arizona. Rio Tinto’s Bingham Canyon mine in Utah saw production fall by roughly 100,000 tons due to lower mill throughput.

Congo (Kinshasa), Zambia’s competitor in copper production and continent’s top rated emerged fifth at 990 metric tons, recording a decrease from 1.03 million tons in 2014 to 990,000 tons in 2015, Reuters is cited as saying in its report.

This is the first time in six years; reports add that the country has seen a drop in copper production on account of Glencore, one of the country’s key producers of the red metal, partially suspending  production at its Katanga mining operations in Congo in September.

Australia was sixth with 960,000 metric tons of the red metal  with  output remaining fairly flat in 2015.  Its copper output dropped just 10,000 tons from 2014, even with troubles at BHP Billiton’s massive Olympic Dam operations early on in the year.

Russia was seventh with 740,000  metric tons  with  production  relatively remaining unchanged for 2015, coming in at 740,000 tons compared to 742,000 tons in 2014. Russia’s Norilsk Nickel, is one the major producers in the country, accounting  for  a large portion of that.

The company reported consolidated copper production of 369,000 tons for 2015.  Canada was eighth with 695, 000 tons, with  copper production remaining flat in 2015, sitting around 695,000 tons relative to 696,000 tons for the year previous.

Although the strong US dollar may be putting pressure on copper prices, the exchange rate can be a boon for Canadian producers who record costs in Canadian dollars, but sell in US dollars, analysts say.

Mexico was the tail-ender with output of  550,000 metric tons produced last year, up from
515,000 tons turned out in 2014.

However, despite the last on the line, Canada is also home to Grupo Mexico which owns 85 percent stake of Southern Copper, one of the largest copper-producing companies in the world.

High Interest rates 'frustrating' ZNBS property mortgage provisions .........as over 2,000 benefit in home ownership despite challenges

Chikolwa---High interest rates 'chocking' ZNBS mortgage plans



Aug. 24 (Zambia Informer) ------Plans by Zambia National Building Society (ZNBS) to empower citizens through property and estate ownership in the country is being frustrated by the high cost of financing to bolster ownership, Joseph Chikolwa, the Chief Executive Officer has noted.

According to  ZNBS,  a paltry 2,000 mortgages have been issued to date but efforts to expand the financing is being hampered by high interest rates which is forcing many would be clients  fail to secure cheap financing, hence the need for reduced or affordable interest rates being slapped on loans secured to avoid several citizens, in dire straits for accommodation, remaining without their own property or estates.

“We are doing our best to provide mortages to would be willing customers but we are being hampered by the high interest rates…..to date, we have only issued slightly over 2,000 mortages and that is not enough for a country with increased housing deficit,” he said.

Accordingly, lending interest rate is the rate charged by banks on loans to prime customers, which is averaging 28-35 percent in several commercial banks.  Since May this year, the Central bank of Zambia opted to keep its benchmark lending rate steady at 15.5 percent, ostensibly to control stubbornly high inflation.

This is, according to financial experts, forcing many financial institutions or commercial banks remain with tight liquidity and are charging highly to remain in business while remiting  a percent to the Central Bank as a measure to cartel increased inflation because of excess liquidity in circulation.

ZNBS was established by the Building Societies Act of 1968 as amended in 1970 on 24 December of the same year. It has among other major roles, increasing housing stock in the country by provision of house loans and undertaking construction housing projects. 

It provides property Financing, Banking services across the 19 branches in the country and office space to individuals and companies mainly in branches along the line of rail. Additionally, it provides Real Estates Services to the General Public. 

According to Chikolwa, while several Zambians and other interested property developers were keen to undertake business with ZNBS, the high interest rates had affected the growth of the business because of the high cost of financing which was prohibitive to many.

ZNBS has branches at among other places, Permanent and Society Houses Branches in Lusaka, Mazabuka, Choma and Livingsone Branches in the Southern Province. It also has outlets in Chipata in the Eastern Province, Mongu in the Western Province, Kapiri and Kabwe Branches in the Central Province.

Others are in Ndola, Kitwe, Chingola, Mufulira, Chililabomwe and Luanshya on the Copperbelt Province, Solwezi in the North Western Province, Mansa in Luapula Province and Kasama and Mpika Branches in the Northern Province of the republic of Zambia, all providing mortgages since inception.

According to statistics,  it is estimated that the country will experience a housing deficit of over a 3 million units by 2030. According to the national housing policy, Zambia’s population would be in excess of 23 million by 2030 entailing that the country would experience housing deficit of over 3 million units if no major interventions are put in place.

According to the National Housing Policy document of 1996, Zambia needs more than 860,000 housing units and  it recommended construction of more 110,000 units per year to meet the increasing demand for decent housing as the population expands.

Zambia, therefore needs robust policy guidelines that would help the country avoid the deficit. Economic and social potentials of the urban areas have generated strong forces for rural -urban migration which was outstripping the capacities of local authorities to deliver land and basic services for housing development.

This has in turn resulted in proliferation of slums and squatter settlements. Under the policy Zambia’s Government recognises  the huge challenges faced in providing affordable housing for all hence the need to restrategise  to overcome the housing challenges which are expected to grow even more if no efforts are put in place to plan and strategise on how to deal with the crisis.

Coupled with this are the financial realities that have denied Zambians the life they deserve and subsequently trapped a large proportion of the people into abject poverty. With limited access to mortgages and other housing financial products, most Zambian households were unable to participate in the delivery of decent shelter.

There is need for Zambia to devise a clear strategy on how to finance the huge housing deficit now and in future, hence the efforts by ZNBS to provide mortgages to many of the 14.3 million population, who in turn are being frustrated by the high cost of financing.

A recent report by Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR) Consultant Dr. Emmanuel Mutale shows that the construction of over 120,000 per year was the only solution to avoid housing deficit.

Background to ZNBS:

The Zambia National Building Society (ZNBS) has three business units namely:  Mortgage, Banking and property & estates. The core business is mortgage financing.   Banking Unit accepts deposits and offers other banking services  while the property and estate departments manages the property portfolio as well as administration of office accommodation.
 
ZNBS was established to help increase the housing stock in the country through mortgage financing.  Therefore, all mortgage loans provided by the institution are for purposes of building, buying or making upgrades to a residential house. The Society does not offer mortgage for purposes of business operations.

However, any Zambian with verifiable income qualifies to apply for a mortgage at Zambia National Building Society, according to data.

Frequently asked questions: (Source: ZNBS)

Do I need a title deed to get a Mortgage? What other security documents do you accept for a mortgage?
Yes you need to have title to obtain a mortgage from ZNBS. The plot on which you plan to build or the house you want to buy should have a title deed. This is because any mortgage disbursed, by virtue of its meaning, must have property pledged as collateral. 
Unless you decide to pledge another property as collateral, the house you are buying or building will be taken in as security or collateral. Hence it should be on title legally obtained. Other security documents that we accept include a Land Record Card and an Occupancy License.

How much do I qualify for ?
The mortgage ceiling (maximum amount) is K700,000. However, the amount you can borrow is determined by 40 percent calculated off your net income. If, for instance, your net income is K10,000, 40 percent of this amount is K4,000 and this is the amount to be used to calculate how much you can borrow.

Is the ZNBS Mortgage for civil servants only ?
No, it is for any one who meets all requirements.

Can I apply for a Mortgage from your branches ?
Yes . You can apply for a mortgage at any of the 19 ZNBS branches across the country.

What is your loan to debt ratio ?
40% of the net pay 

How much can ZNBS finance ?
We can finance up to K700,000 maximum. However, that is determined by your net income. If its outright purchase it is 100%, for construction we give stage payments.

Do I need to open an account to apply for a mortgage ?
Yes you do. You can either open a mortgage fixed account or a mortgage shares account. But there are other savings accounts that you can consider. Visit your nearest ZNBS branch and you will be given all the informational about the various accounts you can choose from.

How do I make the repayments ?
There are two options to making your repayments. Either through post dated cheques or through standing instructions with your bank.

Are your mortgages insured against death and permanent disability ?
ZNBS only facilitates House Owners Insurance policy which insures the mortgaged property. This policy does NOT cover the loan in the event of death or permanent disability to the borrower. However, customers are encouraged to take up Credit Life which covers the loan with an insurance company of their choice.

What is the minimum mortgage amount and maximum mortgage amount a person can borrow?
Minimum amount K3,000 and Maximum amount K700,000

What is tenure of your mortgages?
From 2 to 15 YEARS

What types of mortgages do you offer?
Out right purchase, construction, renovation.

Do you have houses for sale?
NO, we only finance the purchase of houses.

Can I get a mortgage at 60 years of age ?
Yes if you have a contract. If, for instance, you have a 5 year contract and you have served 1 year, the mortgage will run for the remaining period of the that contract.

Can I get a loan from ZNBS if I do not have collateral ?
Yes. You can get a building materials loan or a friendly loan as they do not require collateral. But you cannot get a Mortgage without Collateral.



High Interest rates 'frustrating' ZNBS mortgages.........as over 2,000 benefit in home ownership despite challenges

Story coming soon.

Editor

REMARKS BY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE COMPETITION & CONSUMER PROTECTION COMMISSION (CCPC) MR. CHILUFYA SAMPA DURING THE FIRST HALF OF 2016 MEDIA BRIEFING HELD ON MONDAY, 22ND AUGUST, 2016, AT CCPC HEAD OFFICE IN LUSAKA.


FULL STATEMENT AS ISSUED BY THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MR. CHILUFYA SAMPA ON MONDAY MONDAY, 22ND AUGUST, 2016, AT CCPC HEAD OFFICE IN LUSAKA: 



THE CCPC DIRECTORS,
CCPC MANAGERS AND OTHER STAFF PRESENT HERE,
OUR INVITED COLLEAGUES FROM THE MEDIA,
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
GOOD MORNING TO ALL OF YOU.
________________________________________________________________
IT IS MY SINGULAR HONOUR AND PRIVILEGE TO WELCOME YOU TO OUR BRIEFING FOR THE FIRST HALF OF 2016. WE THOUGHT OF INFORMING THE PUBLIC AND THE NATION OF SOME OF THE KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE THIS PERIOD. I HAVE TO STATE FROM THE ONSET THAT THE YEAR 2016 STARTED WITH A HIVE OF ACTIVITIES HERE AT CCPC. SO PLEASE FEEL FREE TO INTERACT WITH US. I WILL START WITH MERGERS AND MONOPOLIES;

1.   MERGERS AND MONOPOLIES
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
UNDER THE MERGERS AND MONOPOLIES DEPARTMENT, THE COMMISSION HAS CONTINUED TO RECORD SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF MERGERS NOTIFICATIONS. A TOTAL OF 22 MERGER NOTIFICATIONS WERE RECEIVED DURING THE PERIOD UNDER REVIEW.   

OUT OF THE 22 NOTIFICATIONS RECEIVED, 18 WERE CLOSED WHILE 4 ARE YET TO BE CONSIDERED BY THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS. THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR RECORDED 6 TRANSACTIONS IN THE FIRST HALF OF 2016, WHILE THE BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR RECORDED 6 TRANSACTIONS IN THE PERIOD UNDER REVIEW. 

THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR RECORDED 4 TRANSACTIONS WHILE THE ENERGY SECTOR RECORDED 2 MERGER TRANSACTIONS. THE MINING, TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS, WHOLESALE AND RETAIL AND THE SERVICES SECTORS EACH RECORDED 1 CASE. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE CASES CONSIDERED BETWEEN JANUARY AND JUNE, 2016;

1.    JOINT VENTURE BETWEEN AFRICAN CENTURY FOODS LIMITED AND NUTRECO INTERNATIONAL B.V WHICH WAS APPROVED ON CONDITION THAT THE JOINT VENTURE AND ITS SUBSIDIARY COMPANIES SHOULD TRADE AT ARM’S LENGTH AND SHOULD NOT ENGAGE IN ANY FORM OF ABUSIVE BEHAVIOUR SUCH AS DISCRIMINATORY CONDUCT IN TERMS OF PRICE AND OTHER TRADING CONDITIONS.

2.    TAKEOVER OF ASSETS OF CONTINENTAL OIL COMPANY LIMITED (IN LIQUIDATION) BY TOTAL ZAMBIA LIMITED WHICH THE BOARD APPROVED AS IT DID NOT RAISE ANY COMPETITION CONCERNS.

3.    MERGER BETWEEN ALTIMA AFRICA LUXCO SARL AND SUB SAHARA CAPITAL GROUP AFRICA GROWTH FUND LP WHICH WAS APPROVED AS IT SHOWED THAT THE TRANSACTION WOULD NOT LEAD TO THE SUBSTANTIAL LESSENING OF COMPETITION OR ENHANCE EITHER PARTY’S DOMINANT POSITION OR STRENGTHEN THEIR MARKET POWER IN THE RELEVANT MARKET.

4.    MERGER BETWEEN BEEFCO LIMITED AND BUKS HAULAGE LIMITED WHICH WAS CONDITIONALLY APPROVED ON CONDITION THAT THE PARTIES SHALL CONTINUE TO HONOUR THE EXISTING AGREEMENTS THEY HAD ENTERED INTO WITH LOCAL SUPPLIERS; AND THAT THEY SHALL ENSURE THAT NO EXISTING JOBS, ON BOTH THE OPERATION AND ADMINISTRATIVE SIDES WERE LOST BY VIRTUE OF THE TRANSACTION.

5.    MERGER BETWEEN SABMILLER PLC AND ANHEUSER-BUSCH INBEV SA/NV LIMITED WHICH WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE BOARD ON CONDITION THAT THE PARTIES SHALL CONTINUE TO HONOUR THE EXISTING AGREEMENTS THAT THE PARTIES HAVE ENTERED INTO WITH THE LOCAL SUPPLIERS AND CONTRACTORS, AND THAT THEY SHALL ENSURE THAT NO EXISTING JOBS, ON BOTH THE OPERATIONAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE SIDE ARE LOST BY VIRTUE OF THE TRANSACTION.

6.    MERGER BETWEEN DENISON MINES CORP AND GOVIEX URANIUM – THE BOARD DIRECTED THAT THE REPORT BE TAKEN BACK FOR RE-SUBMISSION THROUGH A ROUND ROBIN AND THAT THE MANAGEMENT CONSULT FURTHER WITH THE MINISTRY OF MINES ON THE MARKET SHARES OF THE PLAYERS IN THE RELEVANT MARKET.

7.    ACQUISITION OF BOXMORE PLASTICS (SA) PROPRIETARY LIMITED BY IEP PORTFOLIO 1 PROPRIETARY LIMITED - THE BOARD AUTHORISED THE MERGER ON CONDITION THAT THE PARTIES SHALL CONTINUE TO HONOUR THE EXISTING AGREEMENTS THAT THE PARTIES HAVE ENTERED INTO WITH LOCAL SUPPLIERS, AND THAT THEY SHALL ENSURE THAT NO EXISTING JOBS ON BOTH THE OPERATION AND ADMINISTRATIVE SIDE ARE LOST BY VIRTUE OF THE TRANSACTION. FURTHER, THE BOARD GRANTED THE AUTHORISATION ON CONDITION THAT NEITHER PARTY SHOULD ENTER INTO ANY EXCLUSIVE AGREEMENTS WITH THE OTHER OR ANY THIRD PARTY OR BE ENGAGED IN ANY CONDUCT LIKELY TO VIOLATE THE ACT, AND THAT THE AUTHORISATION OF THIS TRANSACTION WILL NOT EXCLUDE THE PARTIES FROM OBTAINING ANY OTHER RELEVANT REGULATORY APPROVALS.

8.    MERGER INTERMARKET BANKING CORPORATION AND EO ASSET MANAGEMENT THE BOARD DIRECTED THAT THE PARTIES SHALL CONTINUE TO HONOUR THE EXISTING AGREEMENTS THAT INTERMARKET BANKING CORPORATION HAVE ENTERED INTO WITH THE LOCAL SUPPLIERS AND OTHER LOCAL (ZAMBIAN) THIRD LINE INDUSTRIES, AND THAT PARTIES SHALL ENSURE THAT NO EXISTING JOBS FOR INTERMARKET ON BOTH THE OPERATIONAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE SIDE ARE LOST BY VIRTUE OF THE TRANSACTION.

THE BOARD ALSO DIRECTED THAT THE PARTIES SHOULD HONOUR THE UNDERTAKING THAT THEY WOULD IMPLEMENT MORE THAN 100 NEW ATM’S, MORE THAN 20 NEW BRANCH AGENCIES AND LAUNCH MOBILE BANKING FOR THE NON-BANKING COMMUNITY WITHIN THREE (3) YEARS.

FURTHER, THE BOARD DIRECTED THAT THE PARTIES FULFIL THEIR COMMITMENTS WITH THE OTHER REGULATORY AGENCIES SPECIFICALLY WITH THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION IN RELATION TO ACTIVITIES OF THEIR SUBSIDIARY, INTERMARKET SECURITIES ZAMBIA LIMITED.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
THE APPROXIMATE VALUE IN MERGER TRANSACTIONS HANDLED IN THE FIRST HALF OF 2016 WAS USD 270,772,961.48 WITH ABOUT 240 JOBS (DIRECT AND INDIRECT) EXPECTED TO BE CREATED. THE COMMISSION WILL IN THE OTHER HALF OF 2016 CONTINUE CONTRIBUTING TO ZAMBIA’S FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT BY THE CONTINUED FACILITATION OF MERGER TRANSACTIONS.

WITH REGARDS TO ABUSE OF DOMINANCE CASES, THE COMMISSION REVIEWED SEVEN CASES IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE YEAR AND CLOSED ONE (1) CASE INVOLVING ABUSE OF DOMINANCE ALLEGATIONS ZAMBIA AIRPORT CORPORATION LIMITED (ZACL).  IN THIS CASE, THE COMMISSION DETERMINED THAT ZACL WAS ABUSING ITS DOMINANCE IN THE MARKET FOR THE PROVISION OF GROUND HANDLING SERVICES. THE BOARD OF THE COMMISSION DECIDED TO FINE ZACL AND TO WARN IT TO DESIST FROM ABUSING ITS DOMINANT POSITION OF MARKET POWER. 

FURTHER, ZACL WAS DIRECTED TO NORMALISE THE CHARGES AND TRADING CONDITIONS TO BOTH CLIENT AIRLINES AND ZEGA LIMITED IN A MANNER THAT DID NOT AFFECT TRADE OR RESULT IN DISCRIMINATION.

FURTHERMORE, THE COMMISSION UNDERTOOK A COMPLIANCE TRAINING WITH MTN ZAMBIA TO INCREASE AWARENESS ON THE COMPETITION AND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT NO. 24 OF 2010 AND HOW IT APPLIES IN THE ICT SECTOR. FURTHER, THE COMMISSION HOSTED AND PARTICIPATED IN THE ANNUAL COMPETITION AND ECONOMIC REGULATION WEEK CONFERENCE FOR 2016 FOR THE PURPOSE OF INFORMATION SHARING WITH OTHER COMPETITION BODIES AND REGULATORY AUTHORITIES IN THE COMESA REGION.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
IN ORDER TO ENSURE SMOOTH IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE ACT, THE COMMISSION CONTINUES TO COME UP WITH GUIDELINES AND THE LATEST GUIDELINE IS THE SETTLEMENT GUIDELINE. 

THE SETTLEMENT GUIDELINES SET OUT A FRAMEWORK FOR REWARDING CO-OPERATION IN THE CONDUCT OF PROCEEDINGS FOR CONTRAVENING THE ACT. THEY ARE MEANT TO ENSURE TIMELY RESOLUTION OF CASES, INCREASED COMPLIANCE AND RAISE AWARENESS OF THE LAW. 

ANOTHER GUIDELINE IS THE FINES GUIDELINES. THESE GUIDELINES DESCRIBE THE PRINCIPLES AND METHODOLOGY THAT THE COMMISSION APPLIES WHEN IMPOSING FINES OR FINANCIAL PENALTIES. 

THE AIM OF THESE GUIDELINES IS TO PROVIDE FOR CONSISTENCY, FAIRNESS AND CERTAINTY IN THE IMPOSITION OF FINES. THE WORKSHOP WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO GET INPUT AND VIEWS ON THE GUIDELINES FROM RELEVANT STAKEHOLDERS IN THE 3RD QUARTER OF 2016.

  1. RESTRICTIVE BUSINESS PRACTICES (RBPS)
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
DURING THE FIRST HALF OF 2016, THE COMMISSION HAD ON ITS BOOKS THIRTY (30) CASES FOR INVESTIGATION. OF THESE CASES, TWELVE (12) WERE NEW CASES REPORTED BETWEEN JANUARY AND JUNE 2016 AND 18 CASES WERE CARRIED OVER FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR, 2015. DURING THIS PERIOD, THE COMMISSION MANAGED TO CLOSE 9 OF THE 30 CASES.

THE CASES UNDER INVESTIGATION STEM FROM VARIOUS SECTORS, AMONG THEM CONSTRUCTION, ENERGY, MANUFACTURING, AGRICULTURE AND SERVICES. AS WAS THE CASE LAST YEAR, THE AGRICULTURE SECTOR HAS CONTINUED TO RECORD THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF CASES FOR INVESTIGATION FOLLOWED BY THE SERVICES SECTOR.

CARTELS
DURING THE PERIOD UNDER REVIEW, THE COMMISSION HANDLED A TOTAL NUMBER OF TEN (10) CASES OF WHICH TWO (2) CASES WERE CLOSED. THE COMMISSION HAS NOTICED THAT A NUMBER OF CARTEL CASES ARE INCREASINGLY BEING REPORTED. 

IN RESPONSE TO THIS THE COMMISSION HAS INTENSIFIED ITS INVESTIGATIONS INTO CARTEL CONDUCT BY MONITORING ACTIVITIES IN ALL KEY SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY WHICH HAS RESULTED IN 10 CASES BEING INVESTIGATED WITH ONE (1) DAWN RAID BEING CONDUCTED IN THE POULTRY SUB-SECTOR.  

THE COMMISSION ALSO TOOK PART IN SEVERAL SENSITISATIONS ACTIVITIES WITH REGARDS TO PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS SUCH AS PRESENTATIONS AT THE LAW ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA (LAZ), BANKERS ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA (BAZ) AND ZAMBIA INSTITUTE OF PURCHASING AND SUPPLIES (ZIPS).

 THIS WAS AIMED AT SENSITISING MEMBERS OF THESE ASSOCIATIONS ON THE NEED TO PROMOTE COMPETITIVE BIDDING AND TENDERING PROCESSES WHICH ARE AN INTEGRAL PART IN CURTAILING BID-RIGGING AS WELL AS THE PROMOTION OF THE LENIENCY PROGRAM. IN THE SAME PERIOD, THE COMMISSION ALSO CONDUCTED A WORKSHOP FOR STAKEHOLDERS WITH THE VIEW OF GETTING INPUT IN THE DRAFTING OF THE SETTLEMENT GUIDELINES IN CONJUCTION WITH THE WORLD BANK. 

3.   CONSUMER PROTECTION

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
ALLOW ME TO MENTION THAT THE COUNTRY HAS SEEN AN INCREASE IN BUSINESS ACTIVITIES IN THE RECENT YEARS WHICH ALSO IMPLIES THE NEED FOR ENHANCED TRADE REGULATION. THE COMMISSION IS AWARE OF THE MANY TRADE INJUSTICES THAT CAN NEGATIVELY AFFECT CONSUMERS AND TRADERS IN THE ABSENCE OF REGULATION. 

HENCE FORTH, THE COMMISSION HAS CONTINUED ITS VIGOROUS CONSUMER PROTECTION AWARENESS ACTIVITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. TO THIS END THE COMMISSION WILL REMAIN COMMITTED IN ENSURING THAT CONSUMERS ARE PROTECTED FROM ANY FORM OF TRADE INJUSTICE BY ENHANCING TRADE REGULATION.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

SINCE JANUARY THIS YEAR, THE COMMISSION HAS RECEIVED AND MANAGED TO HANDLE AT LEAST 936, OF WHICH 437 WERE HANDLED IN THE FIRST QUARTER AND 499 IN THE SECOND QUARTER. OUT OF THESE THE COMMISSION SUCCESSFULLY HELPED CONSUMERS RECOVER K394,695.85 AND K232,862.36 IN REFUNDS AND REPLACEMENTS RESPECTIVELY, WITH THE TOTAL BEING K627,558.21. 

THE COMMISSION HAS ALSO MANAGED TO CONDUCT AT LEAST 15 INSPECTIONS IN CONJUNCTION WITH VARIOUS COUNCIL HEALTH INSPECTORS IN SELECTED DISTRICTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, AMONG THEM CHILANGA, CHIRUNDU AND KAFUE AND LUSAKA.

DURING THESE INSPECTIONS,I MUST MENTION THAT SOFT DRINKS IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE COUNTRY WORTH K93,255.5 HAVE BEEN CONFISCATED AND DESTROYED BY CCPC IN SOLWEZI, MANSA, CHIPATA, MONGU, LIVINGSTONE, KABWE, KASAMA, CHINSALI, KITWE AND LUSAKA IN CONJUNCTION WITH LOCAL AUTHORITIES. 

THE COMMISSION HAS OBSERVED THAT THROUGH SUCH INSPECTIONS, UNSUSPECTING CONSUMERS ARE PROTECTED FROM BUYING AND CONSUMING UNSUITABLE PRODUCTS AS TRADERS ENSURE THAT THEY MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW.

THE COMMISSION DURING THIS PERIOD APPOINTED 30 CCPC INSPECTORS FROM 21 DISTRICTS OF ZAMBIA, AS AN ADDITION TO THE 79 INSPECTORS THAT CCPC HAS HAD IN THE RECENT PAST. INSPECTORS CONTINUE TO SERVE THE COMMISSION WELL IN THEIR RESPECTIVE STATIONS.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
THE COMMISSION CONTINUED HOLDING STAKEHOLDER SENSITISATION WORKSHOPS IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE COUNTRY TO PROMOTE COMPLIANCE WITH THE ACT. 

THIS STRATEGY HAS RESULTED IN ENTERPRISES ESTABLISHING INTERNAL CONSUMER COMPLAINTS DESKS WHERE THEY EDUCATE CONSUMERS ON PRODUCTS AND SERVICES OFFERED AS WELL AS RESOLVE COMPLAINTS EVEN BEFORE THEY ARE REPORTED TO THE COMMISSION.

THE COMMISSION OBSERVED THAT MOST PEOPLE IN THE RURAL PARTS OF THE COUNTRY HAD LITTLE ACCESS TO CONSUMER EDUCATION AND WERE USUALLY VICTIMS OF EXPLOITATION BY SOME TRADERS. THE COMMISSION INTERVENED BY CONDUCTING SENSITIZATION TALKS WITH TRADITIONAL LEADERS AND THEIR SUBJECTS. 

THE COMMISSION IS IN THE PROCESS OF INTRODUCING WATCH GROUPS IN THE CHIEFDOMS TO ENSURE THAT COMPLAINTS OF UNFAIR TRADING PRACTICES DO NOT GO UNREPORTED IN THE RURAL AREAS AND ALSO TO PROMOTE SELF-REGULATION AMONG TRADERS. 

THIS YEAR THE CHIEFDOMS IN EASTERN AND SOUTHERN PROVINCES HAVE BEEN SENSITISED.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

THE COMMISSION HAS CONTINUED UNDERTAKING PROVINCIAL SENSITISATION TOURS, AND IN THE PERIOD UNDER REVIEW, TEN (10) DISTRICTS OF SOUTHERN PROVINCE WERE TOURED WHERE A NUMBER OF ACTIVITIES WERE CONDUCTED SUCH AS DRAMA SENSITISATION PERFORMANCES, SENSITISATION TALKS IN SCHOOLS/COLLEGES, CHIEFDOMS AND VILLAGES, MARKETS SENSITISATION AND INSPECTION OF TRADING PREMISES, RADIO PROGRAMMES AIMED AT SENSITISING BOTH TRADERS AND CONSUMERS. 

THE COMMISSION REACHED OUT TO VARIOUS STAKEHOLDERS IN THE PROVINCE IN LOCAL LANGUAGE SO AS TO BRIDGE THE LANGUAGE GAP IN THE VILLAGES.

4.   ADVOCACY TO SCHOOLS
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

BETWEEN JANUARY AND JUNE 2016, THE COMMISSION ENGAGED IN THE PROMOTION OF SCHOOL CLUBS ON COMPETITION AND CONSUMER PROTECTION AS A WAY OF INCULCATING COMPETITION AND CONSUMER PROTECTION VALUES IN THE YOUNGER GENERATION.   

UNDER THIS INITIATIVE, THE COMMISSION UNDERTOOK THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES; CONDUCTED A WORLD CONSUMER RIGHTS DAY QUIZ PRIOR TO THE COMMEMORATION IN SELECTED REGIONS ACROSS ALL PROVINCES. 

THIS WAS A WAY OF EDUCATING MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ON THE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THEIR RIGHTS AND ALSO SENSITISE THEM ON WHAT WORLD CONSUMER RIGHTS DAY WAS ALL ABOUT. 

FURTHER, THE COMMISSION ALSO CONDUCTED AN ESSAY WRITING COMPETITIONS ON THE ROLE OF COMPETITION AND CONSUMER PROTECTION COMMISSION IN ZAMBIA. 

THIS WAS ALSO DONE IN SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ALL PROVINCES. IN LUSAKA, THE COMMISSION IN CONJUNCTION WITH SOME LUSAKA BASED SCHOOL CLUBS CONDUCTED AN EXHIBITION AT MAKENI MALL OF WHICH FOUR (4) SCHOOLS PARTICIPATED. 

THE EXHIBITION WAS AIMED AT SENSITIZING CONSUMERS OF COMPETITION AND CONSUMER RELATED MATTERS.

DURING THE PERIOD UNDER REVIEW, TWENTY-FIVE (25) LUSAKA BASED SCHOOL CLUBS CONDUCTED VISITS TO TRADING PLACES. THE VISITS WERE ACADEMIC TO ENABLE THE LEARNERS TO LEARN AND APPRECIATE INSPECTIONS AND AS A REMINDER TO THE TRADING PREMISES ON REMOVING EXPIRED, DEFECTED AND PRODUCTS WITHOUT THE STIPULATED LABELING.

  1. LEGAL AND CORPORATE AFFAIRS
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
IN ENFORCING THE COMPETITION AND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, THE COMMISSION WORKED WITH A NUMBER OF LIKE-MINED INSTITUTIONS SUCH AS THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES, THE ZAMBIA BUREAU OF STANDARDS, ZAMBIA WEIGHTS AND MEASURES AGENCY, ZAMBIA INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AUTHORITY, ZAMBIA POLICE, ENERGY REGULATION BOARD AND CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS SUCH AS THE CONSUMER UNITY AND TRUST SOCIETY IN ENSURING THAT CONSUMERS ARE PROTECTED. 

THE COMMISSION ALSO SIGNED A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH ZAMBIA PUBLIC PROCUREMENT AUTHORITY (ZPPA) IN ITS BID TO PROMOTE COMPETITIVE BIDDING AND TENDERING PROCESS WHICH ARE CRITICAL IN CURTAILING BID RIGGING.

I ASSURE THE NATION THAT THE COMMISSION WILL CONTINUE TO BE VIGILANT AND ENSURE THAT IT ENFORCES THE LAW IN A VERY CONSISTENT MANNER FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE ZAMBIAN PEOPLE. 

REMEMBER, CONSUMER PROTECTION REQUIRES THE ACTIVE PARTICIPATION OF ALL STAKEHOLDERS, AND THIS INCLUDES YOU OUR DEAR COLLEAGUES - THE MEDIA, GOVERNMENT THROUGH ITS CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCIES, THE CONSUMERS OUT THERE AND MOST IMPORTANTLY THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY. 

I THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR ATTENTION, AND
MAY GOD RICHLY BLESS YOU ALL.

N.B: THE STATEMENT HAS BEEN REPRODUCED IN FULL FOR THE SAKE OF VARIOUS CONSUMERS AND STAKEHOLDERS INTERESTED IN KNOWING THE OPERATIONS AND THE ROLE OF THE CCPC IN ZAMBIA.

EDITOR