Anglo America is to cut 85,000 jobs.
This is a company that has been touted as Zambia’s prospective saviour.
Far from the heallowed status, the company is hemorrhaging as a result of the sustained rout of commodity prices, which has seen Anglo shares fall by more than 10 percent.
The company which now has a workforce of 135,000 employees will downsize to 50,000 and its business portfolio will be reduced from six to three.
These changes have been forced on the company by adverse conditions in the commodity sector where prices of all commodities have tumbled to 5, 7 and 10-year lows. Iron ore has tumbled from US$200 per tonne in 2011 to US$39.60 per tonne this year.
Using Anglo’s own terminology as stated by Alastair McCaig, market analyst “Anglo American, like all of its counterparties in the mining sector, has found there is no more fat to be cut and, as had been speculated for the last week, it had to face reality that it could no longer pay out dividend.”
This is the current reality where Oil which ignited the catastrophic world economic crisis in the 1980s has sunk to all-time lows. It is no longer the blessing it used to be but is in fact a curse which such new comers as Ghana have to contend with.
The moral of the story is that time has come for Zambians to take a reality check and not to be swayed by cheap political rhetoric.
As the FDD leadership prepares to confront Police on the Copperbelt it must bear in mind the realities facing the country and the danger to which ordinary people will be exposed.
It is very easy to inflame emotion resulting in disorder and very difficult to bring back order and sanity. Many countries on the continent have become failed states because they have sought recourse to unrealistic economic models which are totally unsustainable.
As a “copper republic” we remain seriously vulnerable to the wiles and influences of the developed world. It is a status that we can overcome by developing realistic, practical and organized development paradigms that are grounded in national aspiration and, more importantly, ability.
Promising Zambians heaven on earth is not only irresponsible but criminal.
We urge the FDD leadership to look beyond the border of this country. Our neighbours are struggling with depreciating countries. South Africa, the powerhouse of the region if not the continent, has been downgraded by rating agencies as the outlook is negative.
Instead of courting confrontation, the party would do well to unveil its master plan to tackle and solve the intractable problems facing the country, instead of investing in mob psychology.