STRUGGLING State enterprise, National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), targets to move 3,7 million tonnes of freight in 2017, up 23% compared to last year’s figures, buoyed by chrome ore and concentrates, board chairperson, Larry Mavhima has said.
Source: NRZ targets 23% increase in volume – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 22, 2017
BY MTHANDAZO NYON
Mavhima told NewsDay the parastatal was targeting to increase its volume this year driven by the mining sector.
“Last year, we managed to move three million tonnes of freight and in 2017, we are targeting to move
3,7 million tonnes. The figure is likely to go higher, as we are concentrating more on chrome ore and concentrates,” he said.
However, the 3,7 million tonnes target is paltry compared to its yester-year figures, where the parastatal used to move 18 million tonnes of freight annually and employed 20 000 workers.
Now it moves less than 100 000 tonnes weekly, as a result of the collapse of industry and poor rail infrastructure.
It has about 5 700 employees.
Last year the company benefited from the intensified grain importation programme, as it targeted to transport between 700 000 and one million tonnes of grain imports from the ports into the country.
It also bought 31 wagons from China at a cost of $3 million.
Mavhima said the parastatal was still in the process of identifying potential investors to turn around its fortunes.
He indicated that they had completed feasibility studies and had submitted the findings to the government.
NRZ has performed poorly in recent years, incurring losses of over $200 million between 2009 and 2013.
NRZ’s 2014 accounts showed that its freight unit was generating annual revenue of $91,2 million, but incurring costs of $103 million. The passenger unit had annual revenues of $3,2 million, with costs over three times more at
The parastatal requires $2 billion to fully recapitalise.
It has a legacy debt of about $144 million, has also been faced with operational inefficiencies, owing to the prevailing economic climate.