“We have embarked on a large infrastructure programme and we have also embarked on attempts to rationalise the massive public expenditure,” Guy Scott, the Zambian deputy president told CNBC Africa.
“The difficulty is that Zambia is so far behind in terms of employment with discriminatory wages rates where people at the bottom can hardly afford mealie-meal with those at the top driving three cars. We are trying to address this anomaly through the minimum wage structures.”
Recently, Zambia faced resistance from companies when the country moved toward increment of energy charges for mining companies. However, Scott says this and other regulation challenges have been solved after compromises.
“We have maintained good terms with investors though we have encountered misunderstandings with regards to some regulations but we reached some compromises and agreements.”
(READ MORE: Zambian mining requires new investment)
The country has also been performing exceptionally well at the bond market compared to other African countries.
“Our recent one billion US dollar bond was oversubscribed just like the previous 800 million US dollar bond demonstrating the attractiveness of our country on international markets,” noted Scott.
The controversial Zambian deputy president took a swipe at South African companies over pricing their products in his country.
“What we have heard has been a chain of supermarkets and grocery shops are selling at double the price they are selling products in South Africa.”
On socialism he said Zambia “has been there and has done that” adding that his country knows what works and what does not work when it comes to socialist policies strongly associated to South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters party.
Scott said Zambia presents great opportunities for investors in the tourism sector.
“We have Victoria Falls and game parks that far exceed anything in South Africa. I would like to see South African tourism companies exploring opportunities in Zambia,” he said.
BY TRUST MATSILELE