HARARE – The cash-strapped National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has said it is projecting to move more than 4,2 million tonnes of freight this year alone.
This will be an increase of 25,6 percent to the cargo it transported in the just-ended year where it moved 3 367 073 tonnes between January and December.
NRZ public relations manager Nyasha Maravanyika this week said this year alone, the struggling rail entity has set its sights on moving a target of 4 231 269 tonnes of cargo, in a development likely to reignite the lost confidence in the rail sector among the corporate and business world.
“More than 201 000 tonnes are expected to be moved in the first month of the year, with monthly tonnages increasing gradually to 380 909 tonnes by May,” Maravanyika said.
“In the second half of the year, monthly tonnage movements are projected to exceed 400 000 tonnes, peaking at 464 845 tonnes in August before dropping to 280 559 tonnes in December,” he said.
NRZ has witnessed an increase in its freight business, the backbone of the company, since it received 13 locomotives, 200 wagons and seven coaches from the South African rail utility, Transnet, under the Interim Solution Equipment agreement in February 2018.
The equipment is being leased from Transnet as part of the $400 million recapitalisation framework agreement with the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG)/Transnet Consortium.
The Interim Solution Equipment is a stop gap measure put in place to capacitate the organisation pending finalisation of the recapitalisation agreement which will see the NRZ acquiring its own rolling stock when the final agreement is signed.
However, the rail entity has admitted that though there has been a marked improvement, the equipment delivered still falls short of the organisation’s requirements as the parastatal has failed to move some of the availed business.