Africa Moyo, Harare Bureau
GOVERNMENT plans to acquire up to 1 000 buses to strengthen Zupco’s fleet, with a long-term plan of increasing the fleet to more than 3 000 buses as part of efforts to boost mass urban transport.
A total of 39 buses have already been delivered whille 500 more expected from Belarus, 200 from South Africa and 100 from China.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said this yesterday during a post Cabinet press briefing.
“Cabinet approved measures to revitalise and partially privatise Zupco as presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Professor Mthuli Ncube),” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
“More specifically, Cabinet agreed as follows; that Government continues to anchor and underwrite the drive to recapitalise Zupco including through the engagement of a strategic partner and that, to facilitate the success of the envisaged rapid bus transportation system, local authorities be supported in the construction and development of accessory infrastructure such as bus termini, bays and access lanes.”
The resuscitation of Zupco through partial privatisation is in tandem with the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), which seeks, among others, to ensure State owned Enterprises (SOEs) are returned to profitability so that they don’t perennially rely on fiscus for bailouts.
Finance Minister, Professor Ncube, told journalists while responding to questions that negotiations for the coming of the buses are underway.
“The 500 buses from Belarus; all these are negotiations still underway. These (buses) are certainly coming on board, just watch this space and be patient,” said Prof Ncube.
“It’s not just Belarus, we are procuring 100 buses from China and then 200 buses from South Africa. Our intention in the interim is to have a target of 1 000 new buses and also try to crowd-in the local suppliers.
“But when Zupco is in full flight when the new partner comes in, we expect the bus yield to grow to 3 000 and higher.”