Written by Chinsinsi Cheketa:
Illovo Sugar Malawi has come under heavy criticism from local transporters over its alleged decision to award international Sugar haulage contracts to foreign transport companies.
The transporters, under the Transporters Association of Malawi (TAM), argue that by giving preference to foreign companies, Illovo Sugar Malawi is undermining the growth of Malawi’s domestic businesses, thereby adversely affecting the local economy.
Speaking to Umunthu FM, TAM Spokesperson Frank Banda has since asked the sugar manufacturing company to reassess the decision and take immediate measures to promote inclusivity, diversity and the local business ecosystem.
“It is disheartening to note that despite possessing all the necessary capacity and technical expertise to handle any volume of Sugar to any destination in Africa, Illovo Sugar Company has for a long time chosen to sideline us in the business”, says Banda.
Banda worries that dependence on foreign entities not only puts sensitive data and intellectual property at risk, but also compromises national self-sufficiency.
He said, “Offering business exclusively to foreign companies may raise concerns regarding the security and sovereignty of our nation and likely compromise the quality and efficiency of operations”.
Meanwhile, the local transporters have called upon the government and other stakeholders to foster an environment that encourages and supports local businesses, as by doing so, would demonstrate commitment to economic growth.
We tried to contact Illovo Sugar Malawi’s Managing Director, Lekeni Katandula but his phone was unavailable.
The local transporters have since disclosed plans to engage other companies who are only offering transportation business to foreign transporters while sidelining Malawian companies.