AVIC International and China Henan have sent home local contractors doing the C400 roads and Nkana Water and Sanitation projects in Kitwe and Kalulushi respectively.
AVIC and China Henan had engaged local contractors to work on roads in Kitwe and the water and sanitation projects.
Consortium of Local Contractors and Allied Suppliers president John Chilupula has disclosed that over a hundred workers have been sent home.
“The current situation is that all the local contractors who were subcontracted have been told to stop work. These are Nkana water and sanitation project through China Henan and the C400 under AVIC, and hundreds of their employees sent home,” Chilupula said.
He said apart from halting the works, most of the members who were engaged by AVIC have not received full payments.
“What is worrying is after halting our works for AVIC, they have not been paid. It is a source of concern because AVIC has continued to do the work that was supposed to have been done by local contractors like drainages,” Chilupula said.
He said the current rate, the works meant for local contractors would have been completed by the time AVIC and China Henan receive funding from the government.
“Our worry is that by the time they will receive funding, all the works for us local contractors could have been completed. We are therefore, calling on the government to quickly consider funding payments. We hope the next payment will be channeled to road projects in Kitwe and sanitation in Kalulushi projects. We are hopeful that the continuation of these projects will guarantee jobs for our youths in these districts,” said Chilupula.
Some local contractors complained of government not showing any willingness to help them.
“We expect a lot from government. We are the local people who are employing the local youths. And the same government has said 20 per cent [of projects] should go to the locals. Now with this, how will the locals benefit? The government should be seen to protect the local people,” said a contractor who sought anonymity.