Lusaka, Sunday (June 16, 2024)

One of Africa’s largest glucose manufacturers, Trade Kings Group, has announced intentions to build the first and largest Plastic Waste Recycling Plant in Zambia.

Group Corporate Affairs Executive Director Phil Daka said the project would create more jobs in addition to the over 16,000 workers it employed.

This came to light during a Prebudget Submission Event organized by the Zambia Association of Manufacturers – ZAM in Lusaka, graced by Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane. 

“The Extended Producer Responsibility – EPR will be pushed to manufacturers like ourselves. We have a roundabout about that, Honourable Minister. While we are concluding the process of coming up with a glucose plant, we are also running with speed to come up with a PET Recycling Plant. These are conversations that we have started. We have written to your office. We have gotten endorsement from the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment regarding our plans,” he said. 

Mr Daka said the project tickles the fancy of President Hakainde Hichilema’s aspirations who once went to Ghana where he visited a plastic recycling plant.

“We are also trying to speak to the aspirations of Zambia’s climate pledges by ensuring that we respond to that as manufacturers in a responsible way. We are trying to pitch this in a Multi-Facility Economic Zone – MFEZ,” he said. 

The Trade Kings Group Corporate Affairs Executive Director, however, said the Group has observed that there are no incentives that are supporting plastic waste recycling.

“The same way we going to be second in Africa in glucose production will be the first in Zambia to do full-grade plastic recycling,” he said. 

Mr Daka has since asked for incentives from the Government to allow Trade Kings to expedite the process of implementing the PET Recycling Plant.

“We are confident that documents containing specific incentive requests have reached your office, Honourable Minister. A solid response would help in the creation of more jobs. We currently account for over 16,000 jobs. There are a lot of statutory obligations that the 16 000 employees meet such as paying taxes but we can do more. For us to bring more direct and indirect jobs, please listen to the incentives that we have brought. The good thing is that the Ministry of Finance has been saying that each time you are presenting incentives to us, do not present incentives that would rob us of revenue generation and collection mechanisms. At present no industry is doing that and therefore, the Ministry is not collecting any revenue from that. The more reason we are speaking to some similar extensions to the Corporate Income Tax side of things as we start production, the Forex earnings that come out, this is a 100 Billion Dollars project, not us, globally they like that kind of money if industries are supported. Please listen to us. We are willing to advance this,” he said. 

Mr Daka said Trade Kings Group got an indication already from the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Commerce but that Finance is the determinant Ministry.

“Let us have very civilised and progressive incentives in newly created investments like this one. This is something that should be considered in the Priority Sectors because it has a lot of societal good. As Trade Kings Group, embarking on this one is not for the bottom line but for the better societal good by arresting all the things we are talking about. Following this meeting, we will submit our final proposal and recommendations for your endorsement,” he said. 

On the other hand, Mr Daka said the beverage manufacturing sub-sector has noted issues surrounding the Smart Invoicing at Kasumbalesa Border Post on the Copperbelt to be enforced in July 2024.

“That is a market responsible for a lot of revenue generation. As manufacturers, we want the implementation which is slated for July. The government has indicated through Director Willies Chipingo that there are discussions that are going on behind closed doors. That is a true spirit of public dialogue that we have been looking for. Our concerns are that when the export zones are implemented that will bring about fair and equitable implementation of what the Government to realise. But if certain things are not looked into where companies of certain sizes are not brought into the value chain, we risk creating an imbalance in terms of pricing model,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane said the Government is committed to lowering taxes.

He said proposals for incentives will be reviewed one by one.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Zambia Association of Manufacturers – ZAM Chief Executive Officer Muntanga Lindunda. 

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