THE National Railways of Zimbabwe will inject $10 million towards the rehabilitation of tractive power, communication, track and yard infrastructure in 2016. The government is also expected to avail an additional $3 million from tax revenues to support the national rail company’s rehabilitation initiatives.NRZ acting general manager Lewis Mukwada told our Harare Bureau yesterday that the funding will be raised from the disposal of scrap wagons among other things.
“NRZ has plans to inject $10 million towards rehabilitation and this will come from proceeds of scrap wagons being disposed of and other internal fundraising initiatives currently being undertaken by the rail utility,” he said. “NRZ’s own resources of $10 million will go towards rehabilitation of motive and tractive power, communication and signalling, track and yard infrastructure.”
NRZ invested $6.87 million of its own resources this year towards the refurbishment of seven locomotives, 360 wagons, as well as the reduction of speed restrictions by 42,7 kilometres against a requirement of 282 kilometres.
However, recovery of the rail sub-sector requires NRZ to engage a technical partner able to bring new capital and technical ability. NRZ is responsible for a national network of approximately 2,700-3,000 kilometres, with its main line running for 1,500 kilometres.
NRZ has a fleet of about 168 locomotives, 70 of which are serviceable, although all are reaching the end of their life spans. The bulk of the fleet is over 30 years old. There has been a plan to do “stop gap” rehabilitation of locomotives at approximately $750,000 per unit until finance is available to buy a new fleet.