CHITALAKASANKA Trust Limited has expressed concern at the issuance of Statutory Instruments (SIs) to stop quoting prices of goods and services in the United States dollar and the increase in the minimum wage.
Company general manager Ernst Jacobs says the move is adversely affecting operations.Mr Jacobs says the firm is currently working on measures to put in place to help sustain operations after the introduction of the two SIs.
Mr Jacobs, however, said the firm, a United Kingdom-based wildlife charity which manages Kasanka National Park in Serenje, will not lay off any worker from the 93 it employs, but rather reduce working days to three in a week.
“If there is that huge increase in the minimum wage, we are going to struggle, we are not planning to lay off anybody but we may have fewer working days for employees to work around it because it will have a big impact on our operations.
“We won’t be able to afford it, measures such as having them work three days a week could be considered,” he said in an interview in Serenje this week.He said apart from the minimum wage, the firm is also forced to quote in Kwacha after the pronouncement making operations even difficult.
“We are forced to quote in Kwacha now making administrative work and everything a lot more complicated like our accounts and we receive cheques in dollars,” Mr Jacobs said.He, however, said the firm will soon have discussions with the union on the way forward.Meanwhile, the trust has urged the middleclass countrywide to sample local tourism products since it is their heritage.Mr Jacobs said the national park mainly gets many experts connected to mining firms and diplomats.Kasanka Trust is a charity working to conserve and develop Kasanka National Park in Serenje.
The Trust operates two lodges and two campsites in Kasanka, including Shoebill Island Camp in the adjacent Bangweulu Wetlands.It arranges whole tours to Kasanka, Bangweulu, Shiwa- Ngandu, North and South Luangwa and beyond.There are also opportunities for volunteers to gain experience of research or assist with conservation work.