THE Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (zupco) has created more than 7 000 jobs since the beginning of its revival programme in January 2019, with more drivers and conductors set to be employed as the company beefs up its fleet.
The Government facilitated the recovery of zupco to create a modern mass public transport system and ease the burden on commuters who had for long suffered at the hands of commuter omnibus operators that wantonly hiked fares.
zupco acting chief executive officer Mr Everisto Madangwa told The Sunday Mail that the transporter now boasts a staff compliment of 7 512, up from just 366 in January 2019.
According to records, conductors, at 65 percent, make up the largest number of employees followed by cashiers 12 percent, inspectors 10 percent, drivers 6 percent, management 5 percent and workshop manpower 2 percent.
This comes as 100 more zupco buses are on their way to Harare.
The buses will be distributed to the neediest areas to alleviate transport challenges in both urban and intercity routes.
“These are big numbers considering that it took us less than three years to get to this figure,” said Mr Madangwa.
“This is also in line with our own revival strategy as well as the National Development Strategy (NDS1).
“For us as a country to achieve Vision 2030, we need a sustainable passenger transport system and this milestone shows that we are in the right direction.”
Mr Madangwa last week confirmed that 100 more buses will be offloaded in Durban, South Africa without providing further details.
However, sources within the Government told The Sunday Mail that the buses had already arrived in Durban and were on their way to Harare.
“Yes the buses are coming indeed, the officials will be making an announcement soon but as you may be aware this is part of zupco’s revival programme,” said a source.
“The buses arrived in Durban last week and they are now on their way to Zimbabwe.
“Actually more buses will be coming in until a time when local assemblers are able to meet local demand.”
Over the last 12 months, the Government has imported more than 450 buses from China to boost the zupco fleet.
The revival of zupco as well as the National Railways of Zimbabwe is seen as central to the Government’s plans to create a decent mass public transport system.
To this end, the Government has for the past two years been importing buses from China and Belarus to boost Zupco’s fleet.
Ultimately the goal is to revive the local bus assembly and to achieve this the Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Belarus in 2019 to help capacitate local bus assemblers.
Also, a consortium of local bus operators, Amalgamated Bus Industries (ABI), has secured a US$35 million loan to start assembling buses through AVM Africa and Quest Motor Corporation.
Meanwhile, the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) is negotiating a recapitalisation deal with Turkish Investor, Yapi Merkezi.