A local timber plantation company has lamented that Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) decision to import poles for electricity has cost the company K2.5 billion risking local jobs.
Raiply managing director Krishna Dassi has told minister of Labour Ken Kandodo that the state run power distribution company stopped buying local poles for electricity in 2018.
“This has a significant negative effect on the employment of the local workers in the country. In fact, we have lost K2.5 billion,” said Dassi.
The Tonse alliance government has tall order to create one million jobs within a year.
Kandodo said he would discuss the matter with relevant authorities, including Escom to see the way forward.
Many commentators have questioned the rationale of importing wood poles when supplies are available locally.
But Escom spokesperson Innocent Chitosi s explained that the decision to import poles was due to concerns of capacity and quality of local supplies.
He said the Raiply poles lasted for a year only whilst durable original poles last for 15 years.
But according to Raiply management, there has not been any formal complaint from Escom about the quality of the poles.
Dassi said said Raiply has been maintaining high standards for poles certified by the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS).