THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) is projecting to move six million tonnes of cargo in 2013 as a result of anticipated efficiency emanating from the newly launched express trains, it has been learnt.
Report By Gamma Mudarikiri OWN Correspodent
NRZ public relations manager Fanuel Masikati told NewsDay last week that the recently introduced trains would play a critical role in meeting the set targets.
“We have the capacity to move six million tonnes of cargo next year with the express trains introduced in October 2012,” said Masikati.
For the year 2012, the company had projected to move 6,4 million tonnes of freight traffic, but in October it reported that it would not able to meet the target due to failure of most of the pledged business during the period.
Masikati, however, could not give the actual figures of how much cargo was moved this year.
He attributed the failure to meet the targets to slow business in some of the key sectors of the economy and the undercapitalisation of the parastatal.
As part of measures to recapitalise the parastatal, the government early this year announced that it had secured funds to purchase 14 locomotives from a Chinese firm and deliveries are anticipated by early next year.
The railway company needs $400 million in the short term to refurbish its infrastructure and $2 billion in the long term to fully recapitalise.
The organisation has for long been in talks with private investors to raise funds to recapitalise which, however, have not yet yielded positive results.
NRZ currently has only 65 locomotives, 3 271 wagons and 158 coaches that are functional against a requirement of 83 locomotives, 4 262 wagons and 145 coaches.
The organisation continues o battle with viability challenges and consequently has a six-month back log in salary arrears for its 7 000 employees.
Masikati said NRZ had suspended recruitment and the replacement of retirees to reduce the number of employees.