Petroleum Transporters Association of Zambia secretary general Benson Tembo says the depreciation of the kwacha has negatively impacted their businesses.
In an interview, Tembo said most transporters were using foreign currency to buy spare parts for their trucks, which meant the cost of doing business had gone up.
He said there was need renegotiate with suppliers, the price of transportation if they were to make any profits.
“For us in the transport sector, you see that we buy spares from outside the country and with this depreciation of the Kwacha, it is impacting negatively on our income because we negotiated the transport rates sometime back and when the Kwacha is depreciating in this manner, there is need to renegotiate so that transporters can get the actual benefit of the investment,” Banda said.
“But it is very difficult to sit down with suppliers or the people that are giving us business because they are equally affected by the depreciation of the Kwacha. Business wise for the local transportation, we are totally hurt by the depreciation; for the cross border transportation we have an edge over it because we are paid in dollars.”
Tembo said the looming fuel price increment would further affect their operations.
“The fuel price definitely will be increased because of the depreciation. You know the factors that trigger the fuel price increase are the depreciation of the Kwacha because all the fuel comes into the country is imported and we buy in dollars. Definitely, a retail price increment is expected that is why there is too much anxiety among the transporters; they don’t know at what rate the price will increase. We know that with depreciation, we expect a price increase. The price increment will affect the business, for instance for the local distribution; we transport fuel across the country as Zambian transporters and we are paid in Kwacha, definitely it will have an impact. When they do the increase for retail transportation, we shall be cushioned by the increase of the margin by the Energy Regulation Board. There are some areas were we supply fuel which are not impacted by any margin increase,” said Tembo.