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THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) says its decision to hire equipment from Transnet South Africa has started paying dividends, with cargo freight volumes increasing since April this year.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
“As part of the NRZ’s $400 million recapitalisation deal with the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG) /Transnet Consortium, the NRZ is leasing equipment from Transnet as a stop-gap measure to cover resource constraints while awaiting finalisation of the recapitalisation agreement which will see the organisation receiving new equipment of its own,” the parastatal said in a statement on Wednesday.
The company said it had moved 856 476 tonnes of cargo since April, a 13,5% increase from the 754 404 tonnes moved during the same period last year.
During the first month of the interim equipment’s operation in April, freight volumes went up by 18,4% to 215 063 tonnes from 181 585 tonnes carried in March.
In May, the company reported that it had moved 305 345 tonnes, an increase of 41,9% from the previous month. In June, freight volumes rose by 10% to 336 068 tonnes.
“The NRZ is leasing nine class 34 locomotives, four class 43 locomotives and 200 wagons as well as 34 passenger coaches (of which only seven have been received so far). The wagons were put to dedicated use for chrome exports from the Zimbabwe Mining and Smelting Company (Zimasco) Kildonan in Mashonaland Central and Zimasco Kwekwe to Maputo,” NRZ said.
“The first batch of leased equipment was deployed for NRZ operations on March 29, 2018 after reaching an agreement on the commercial terms with Transnet and clearing the equipment with Zimra.”
NRZ is embarking on a $400 million recapitalisation project with DIDG/Transnet Consortium under which it will acquire rolling stock, signalling equipment and information communication technology equipment to increase capacity utilisation.
NRZ has capacity to move over 18 million tonnes of freight a year, but is currently moving just over three million tonnes and the recapitalisation programme is expected to see a further gradual and sustained increase in freight volumes.