Zambia, SA companies urged to forge business links

Pretoria, December 9, ZANIS---President Lungu has said the volume of trade between the two countries was in excess of US$3.8 billion.
He said there were over 200 South African companies operating in
Zambia with a combined product range of about 3,000 products.
He has since urged other South African companies to invest in Zambia
because it is one of the best investment destinations.
President Lungu however observed that trade between Zambia and South
Africa was skewed toward the latter.
He said economically advanced countries should assist those lagging
behind to catch up.
Mr. Lungu is in South Africa for a state visit at the invitation of Mr. Zuma.
And President Jacob Zuma of South Africa has
challenged the business community in his country and in Zambia to work
towards fostering economic emancipation.
Mr. Zuma said political freedom would not make sense in the absence of
economic independence.
He said the meaning of freedom will only be complete if countries are
also economically free.
“Political freedom without economic freedom is nothing. We need to
complete freedom, then we will have a stable democracy,” he said when
he and President Edgar Lungu addressed a South Africa-Zambia business
forum at Freedom Park in Pretoria yesterday.
President Zuma further said economic power has more capacity to
influence political power hence the need to have both in the country.
He said the years of fighting for political freedom and apartheid
would not be complete unless they translate into a successful
attainment of economic freedom.
And President Zuma said his country was keen to cooperate with Zambia
in mining, mineral exploration and processing.
He explained that trade between South Africa and Zambia stood at R29
billion in 2015 adding that there was need to boost economic
development.
He has since thanked Zambia for opening her market to South African
companies to conduct businesses there.
“South Africa’s current investment amounts to US$2 billion,” he added.
Meanwhile, South African business representative Danisa Baloyi said
the two countries should balance their trade through market access.
And Zambia’s business representative at the forum Charles Kalima said
Zambia and South Africa should not compete in business but should
instead cooperate so that they both develop economically.
Before addressing the business forum, Mr. Lungu laid a wreath at
Isivivane, which is a memorial place for the fallen heroes who died
during South African wars and world wars.
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President Lungu orders reshuffling of civil servants
Pretoria, December 9, ZANIS----President Edgar Lungu has directed the Permanent Secretary at the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) to shuffle civil servants in order to curb corruption and familiarity in the civil service.
President Lungu disclosed that some civil servants who have worked for a long time in one ministry or department have become too familiar with their offices and hence they have taken their work for granted.
He noted that familiarity has bred corruption in some offices hence the need to transfer officers from one place of work to the other.
President Lungu said this in Pretoria on Wednesday night when he addressed Zambians living in South Africa.
Earlier, president of the Zambia Association in South Africa (ZASA) Ferdinand Simaanya raised concern that Zambians in the diaspora were finding it difficult to acquire land back home.
The Head of State responded that there was widespread corruption in some government offices particularly at the Ministry of Lands.
Mr. Lungu said even Zambians back home were facing challenges in acquiring land in the country.
"I think the reason has been rampant corruption in the process," he said.
He added that, "What we are doing now is that we are fighting that scourge and I know that we are trying to replace some people who have worked so long in certain government ministries and departments".
President Lungu further said there should be a system which keeps people on their toes by periodically moving them from one office to another.
"I believe that the changes that have been made recently will bring about better services," he said.
The President also said the process must be simplified for people to get land and invest and for good service delivery.
And President Lungu has urged Zambians to develop confidence in the electoral system in Zambia if the country was to introduce voting by people in the diaspora at Zambian embassies and high commissions as other countries have done.
He observed that Zambians were very suspicious of every activity in the electoral system.
He noted that allowing Zambians living abroad to vote in missions where they are would raise more suspicions of rigging elections.
President Lungu was reacting to calls for government to empower the mission in South Africa to be able to issues documents such as National Registration Cards (NRCs), birth certificates and drivers' licences among many others and allow Zambians to vote in a general election through missions abroad.
"Let us work on our mind so that our people can respect the system.
Politicians should have confidence in the electoral commission," he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Lungu reiterated that he would not hold a grudge against people who do not regard him as a legitimate President.
The Head of State said he was aware of people that were still living in denial that he was the legally elected president.
He said he was ready to work and embrace every Zambian because they had the right to belong to different political parties.
President Lungu admired the magnanimity of Yahya Jammeh, the recent past President of Gambia and the former United States of America Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who graciously conceded defeat in the recent elections.
"I don't see why people should live in denial and pretend that there is no President," he wondered.
Mr. Lungu also said he would table some concerns raised by Zambians in South Africa with relevant ministries so that they are addressed.
Earlier, ZASA president Ferdinand Simaanya said his association was working hard to unite all Zambians living in South Africa.
Mr. Simaanya said ZASA has worked hard to put Zambians living in that country on its data base.
He said the association had 256 Zambians on its data base in 2014 but this has risen to over 5,400 in 2016.
He said the target was to reach 10,000 Zambians captured on ZASA's data base in 2017.
Mr. Simaanya said Zambians in South Africa were benefiting a lot from the association which was also engaged in community service work and social cooperation responsibility both in South Africa and Zambia.
Meanwhile, Zambia's High Commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba disclosed that the Mission has been conducting consular clinics to make all Zambians in that country know that the mission existed because of them.
Mr. Mwamba said Zambians were being helped by the mission in many ways.
He said Zambia and South Africa were important business partners who should improve their relations further.
South Africa has up to 75 percent of foreign investment in Zambia.
President Lungu is on a three-day state visit to South Africa at the invitation of his counterpart Jacob Zuma.
He arrived in Pretoria on Wednesday and returns to Zambia today.
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