WORK permits to foreigners will only be given to those whose skills cannot be found in Zambia, says Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda.
And Mr Shamenda announced that the anti-casualisation Bill will be enacted by June in the next sitting of Parliament.
Speaking during the launch of the tripartite partnership committee on the mining sector, Mr Shamenda also announced that President Edgar Lungu has directed the ministies of Finance and Labour to discuss and chart a way forward over the wage freeze imposition.
Mr Shamenda also apologized for the delay in the implementation of law reforms, adding that he has directed his permanent secretary that no further delays will be tolerated.
Mr Shamenda also directed the Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) to be transparent when negotiating with unions by laying on the table all the data and statistics.
And commenting on the tripartite partnership committee on the mining sector, Mr Shamenda urged the committee to focus on one of the most important sectors of the economy, which was mining.
“Even though we are trying to diversify our economy by growing other sectors such as agriculture and tourism, we cannot run away from the fact that currently, it is the mining sector that is a pillar to our economy,” he said.
Mr Shamenda said mining was one of the strategic sectors in the economy, adding that it contributed significantly to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
He said the mining sector, with copper in the lead, represented approximately 78 percent of the total exports and generated the largest number of formal jobs after the public sector in Zambia.
Mr Shamenda said the project was launched after extensive stakeholder consultation in order to achieve objectives of promoting tripartite trust and effective social dialogue in the mining sector “It is our hope and expectation therefore that by this means we shall address core employment and labour issues in the sector,” he said.
Mr Shamenda said the main vehicle for achievement of the objectives was the establishment of a fully operational tripartite partnership committee (TPCM).
He said the committee would be a sub-ommittee of the existing Tripartite Consultative Labour Council (TCLC), envisaged to be a dedicated and skilled social dialogue forum.