'NRZ must pursue SA mineral claims'

HARARE - National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) board and management must actively pursue the mineral claims in South Africa as they could provide an important source of leverage in sourcing funding, Parliament has said.

The parliamentary portfolio committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development said in a report government must set up a committee to pursue the claims.

This comes as the NRZ — the country’s sole railway services provider — has failed to run profitably for years due to undercapitalisation and ageing rolling stock. It is saddled with a $144 million debt.

“Immediately, a committee should be set up by the minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to pursue this game changer by December 2017,” the report reads.

The NRZ owns a “significant” stake in Pan African Minerals Development Company (PAMDC)’s diamondiferous concessions in South Africa.

PAMDC was created in 2007 to take over the mining concessions previously owned by ZiZa, a group that was jointly owned by the railway companies of Zimbabwe and Zambia.

This comes as the NRZ has been sourcing for finance from local banks to repair locomotives and wagons as an interim measure to improve capacity and business volumes.

The NRZ has secured a loan of $5 million from a local financial institution, which will be used to repair five locomotives and 200 wagons.

The requisite approvals from the board and government are being processed, according to the report. In the meantime, the organisation has so far this year overhauled 165 wagons using its own resources.

The NRZ has also been involved in negotiations with a Russian wagon manufacturer, Uniwagon, for the supply of 100 new wagons through a $10 million facility from the Russian Exim Bank.

The NRZ has also engaged a consultant to assist in right-sizing the NRZ following its failure to meet its wage requirements.

Comments (1)

No foreigners in other countries' minerals. kandiro kanoenda kunobva kamwe. lets see where propoganda will get you. so far between 1999 and now, we havent seen the results of loud mouths politics. poverty is gettuing more and more entrenched.

Ini Donato Matibili - 26 July 2017

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