Massive growth in Copperbelt volumes
Trade with Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues to be hampered by red tape, according to Dhiren Krishna, managing director of Durban-based GSF Trucking. The company has first-hand experience of the challenges both
of moving cargo across the region’s borders and of investing in Zambia. “The regulatory framework in Zambia makes business registration, direct investment (property, plant and equipment) and forex transactions by foreign nationals somewhat complicated, risky and tricky.
“This is further compounded by the complexity of raising capital finance by foreign nationals or business entities (in Zambia itself or in South Africa for investment in Zambia) and insufficient capacity in state institutions such as the dti to assist and facilitate the growth of the SA road transport sector in Zambia. “The SADC regional governments need to come to the party by committing to increasing infrastructure capacity and efficiency at ports and borders, not neglecting the regional road infrastructure, and streamlining the legislative framework to make crossborder investment and security of tenure easier and attractive to allow us to invest regionally and take advantage of the growth opportunities on hand,” he says.
For shippers, the largest single challenge is “not in finding a road freight partner with the tonnage capacity, but a partner that can offer the tonnage capacity with full, around-the-clock operational and fleet support services two to three countries away.
“Fleet support is key with the huge distances covered, crossing up to six borders over a multitude of routes across an entire region,” he says.
This article first appeared in Freight & Trading Weekly magazine in the August 2018 Zambia edition.