MOPANI Copper Mines has given Mufulira’s Buteko market traders K316,000 as start-up capital.
During the handover of the K1.5 million rehabilitated Buteko market, MCM chief executive officer Chris Vermeulen told the traders to take care of the facility.
The market was destroyed in a fire early this year.
Vermeulen said of the K316,000, mine suppliers donated K158,000 and MCM decided to equal the gesture.
“We wanted to build a temporary building but we decided to make one that will stay for a longer period of time and this is the only way we can plough back to the community,” said Vermeulen. “So traders should operate with caution, should take care of this market so that it can stay up for many years to come. And the money should be given to each trader in the market as start-up capital.”
Copperbelt minister Japhen Mwakalombe said the government was committed to ensure the private sector thrived by creating a conducive environment for the sector players to participate in economic development.
He said in doing so the private sector would help eradicate poverty in communities.
Mwakalombe said Mopani had been an all-weather friend whenever the government faced challenges.
He said it was government’s desire to ensure women, especially those trading on the streets where there were no sanitation facilities, were given dignity.
“The President [Edgar Lungu] is on record that he is going to give dignity to the marketeers, bus drivers and the street vendors. The government is committed to ensuring that the private sector ploughs back by creating an enabling environment that is conducive for the private sector to participate in the economic development of the country,” said Mwakalombe.