Ndola Town Clerk Cosmas Chalusa has called for consistent communication with the Ndola Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NDCCI) on various issues that affect the city in order to effectively find sustainable solutions.
Mr Chalusa said the Ndola City Council (NCC) had an open communication policy with the residents and various sectors of society in order to encourage an environment that would ensure all stakeholders achieved their objectives.
The Town Clerk said was speaking yesterday evening when he and the Council management engaged with the members of the Ndola Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the Chamber’s monthly business meeting in Ndola.
The NDCCI invited Mr Chalusa and the Council management to the meeting to discuss various issues that affect the city’s business sector like the enforcement of the health permits on various businesses and the need for the Council to prioritise local businesses as suppliers.
The Town Clerk said it was important for the Chamber and the Ndola City Council to work together to enhance the city’s economy and to engage in continuous dialogue.
“For us, we are open. Let us work together and slowly we will resolve all these challenges. It is important for us to keep our lines open and continue talking,” Mr Chalusa said.
The Town Clerk assured the Chamber that he would build on the work that had been down by the previous management at the Council.
He said the Ndola City Council was aware that the commerce and industry sector in Ndola, like the local authority, had suffered major setbacks this year because of the negative effects of the Corona virus (COVID 19) on the economy.
Mr Chalusa said the management at the council had come up with proposals which were undergoing the relevant processes to help mitigate the negative effects of COVID 19 on business sector in the city.
He also said the Council was receptive to the proposal by the Chamber to promote local businesses by prioritising registered members of the NDCCI in order to resolve some recurrent procurement challenges and on also agreed with the Chamber on the need to rid the city of street kids.
The Town Clerk said the Chamber should submit their various written proposals to the Council.
And Ndola City Council Director of Finance Mildred Nyambe urged the businesses in Ndola to formally write to the Council whenever they had financial challenges in order for the Council to find solutions that would benefit both parties and not engage the Council after the local authority had enforced the closure of business premises due to non- payment of various obligations.
NDCCI president John Samaras said the members of the Chamber were compliant on many payments but had challenges understanding some legal requirements like the health permit.
Mr Samaras said most businesses felt the enforcement of health permits was unfairly executed and needed to be revised.
He said the members of the Chamber should be prioritised as suppliers because they were compliant and that the move would also encourage other businesses to join the NDCCI and in-turn improve compliance and the local authority’s income.
The members of the Chamber urged the NCC management to defer some charges, establish a one- stop-shop for payments, help deal with the street children, provide land for established businesses, rehabilitate roads as well as enhance sensitisation on various laws