THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) moved 1 772 million tonnes of freight in the first seven months of the year, an 11% increase on its performance during the same period last year, according to an official of the railway operator.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
In an interview with NewsDay, NRZ general manager Lewis Mukwada, said the increase in freight was driven by the equipment which the company leased from Transnet of South Africa as a stop-gap measure to cover resource constraints.
“There has been some improvement for the months January to July. We have so far moved 1 772 million tonnes compared to 1 598 million tonnes that we moved last year, which is an 11% improvement,” Mukwada said.
In the first six months to June, the company generated $40,7 million in gross revenue.
Mukwada said in the second quarter to June the railway company had 13% improvement compared to last year and attributed the performance to “a number of factors”.
“We did get some equipment from South Africa that we are leasing under what we call interim solution that we dedicated to the chrome business. That helped a lot,” he said.
“So it’s that, coupled with our own various initiatives under the 100-day initiative that we report to government. We have put projects related to the refurbishment or recovery of some of our wagons. I think so far we have done over 200 wagons and we also trying to recover the infrastructure,” he said.
Mukwada said the current initiatives were just interim recovery measures while the company waited for the finalisation of its $400 million recapitalisation deal with Transnet Consortium and Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG).
Under the long-awaited recapitalisation deal, NRZ would receive new equipment of its own.
The NRZ is leasing nine class 34 locomotives from Transnet, four class 43 locomotives and 200 wagons as well as 34 passenger coaches (of which only seven have been received so far).