In a move that is sure to be welcomed by the country’s mining industry, Zambia has just lifted a travel ban that was costing the industry dear.
The ban, enforced in 2016 by Zambia’s Transport Minister, was put in place due to the number of vehicles on Zambia’s road reaching an incredibly high 700,000 in the ten years leading to 2016.
This, unfortunately, resulted in road fatalities also rising to more than 2,000 people in 2016 alone.
But, as the 2nd largest copper producing country in Southern Africa, this had a demonstrable impact on some of the biggest mine operations as the ban prevented night time driving for public service vehicles, including buses and trucks.
Transport Minister Brian Mushimba said the ban would remain in force for buses but that trucks, which also transport copper, the nation’s main export, would be allowed to move at night.
“We have separated the public transport from trucking business so that we can give an opportunity to the trucks that transport a lot of cargo to continue running 24 hours a day,” Mushimba said.
The Zambia Chamber of Mines, which represents foreign mining companies operating in Zambia, welcomed the lifting of the ban.
“The mining sector is obviously relieved that the measures... have been amended to reflect the reality of transporting essential industrial inputs and commodities on our roads,” Chamber of Mines President Nathan Chishimba said.