The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) is targeting to move freight worth $3,5 million and 387 000 passengers this year, a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee has said.
“In 2017 NRZ said it would transport freight tonnes amounting to $3,5 million, an improvement of about 30 percent from the $2,7 million realised in 2016,” the Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development said in a report on an inquiry into the turnaround strategy for NRZ presented to Parliament recently.
“In terms of the passengers, NRZ is targeting to move 387 000 passengers against the 287 000 that were transported in 2016.
“This would translate to a 34 percent improvement in passenger transportation in 2017,” it said. At peak in 1998, the NRZ moved over 12 million tons of goods but last year, the parastatal moved less than 3 million tons of freight.
The Committee said the NRZ projected that the revenue to be generated from both freight and passengers would be $87 million. “If achieved, this would be a 32 percent increase from the $66 million raised in 2016,” it said.
The NRZ has a debt overhang of $176 million exacerbated by the $90 million that it owes its employees.
The state entity is a key player in terms of commercial and industrial bulk goods transportation in the country.
But its infrastructure has deteriorated in the past two decades, a situation made worse by a slump in economic activity that translated into low volumes for the railway transporter. – New Ziana.