COVID-19 ‘Freezes’110 GLASS JOBS

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KETRA KALUNGA writes

THE multi-million dollar Kapiri Engle Glass factory which began its full operations last month has sent home over 100 workers as a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The US$15 million factory run by a Chinese investor with a production capacity of about 50 tonnes of flat and laminated glass per year has employed about 150 local people.

Human resource manager David Mbangu said yesterday in an interview with The Sun the company had been badly hit by the effects of Covid-19 having gone into full operation in March this year.

Mr Mbangu said the factory, which sells its product on distribution and agent basis, has lost market as most of its customers have closed their businesses in response to the outbreak of the global pandemic.

He said production had also been affected after the factory, which survives of enough manpower sent home about 110 workers to enforce the government guidelines of maintaining only essential workers to avoid the spread of the disease in workplaces.

“We have been affected by the coronavirus. We just started full production last month in March this year. We have reduced manpower and we are a company that needs enough manpower. We have also lost our customers because they have closed their businesses,” Mr Mbangu said. 

He, however, assured that the factory would resume full operations once Covid-19 was contained and continue supplying the goods to its customers.

Mr Mbangu assured that none of the workers who had gone on break would lose their job because the company would re-call them once the disease was under control.

The factory located on the Great North Road uses 40 percent Zambian raw materials for its products among them coal and lime from Maamba Collieries in Sinazongwe and Mpongwe districts while soda is imported from Botswana.

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