Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (CoMZ) says more than 70 percent of the workers registered with the National Employment Council for the mining industry have been vaccinated against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March last year, the Government has rolled out a mass vaccination programme as part of measures to curb the spread of the pandemic.
According to CoMZ, the mining sector has more than 45 000 workers registered with the National Employment Council (NEC) for the mining industry.
CoMZ chief executive officer, Mr Isaac Kwesu said the sector has embraced the vaccination drive, which is critical in ensuring business continuity in a safe environment.
Although he could not give exact figures off hand, Mr Kwesu said more than 70 percent of Zimbabwe’s mining industry workers have been vaccinated.
“What we know is that quite a significant number, in fact a majority of miners have been vaccinated and the figure is well above 70 percent,” he said.
The mining industry is one of the sectors anchoring the economy and is set to drive the country towards the attainment of an upper middle-income economy by 2030. In 2019, the Government launched the US$12 billion mining industry by 2023.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando is on record saying the Government’s target of building the US$12 billion mining economy is within sight.
Mr Kwesu said one of the major setbacks bedevilling the potential of the mining industry was increased demand for payment of mining consumables and services in foreign currency.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has placed all exporters at 60 percent retention level.
“The issue is all about the increase in demand for payments in foreign currency.
You find most local suppliers who provide services to mining industry are demanding payments in foreign currency and when they accept local currency, they are charging at parallel market rates,” said Mr Kwesu. – @KazungaOliver .