Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has surpassed its first quarter revenue target of $18 million by five percent driven by the trust the parastatal’s customers continue to build in the company.
NRZ has embarked on a strategic turnaround effort and is presently on course to reaching financial closure for the $400 million recapitalisation deal it signed last year with the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG)/Transnet consortium.
As an interim solution to the resource constraints at NRZ, the parastatal is leasing 13 locomotives, 200 wagons and seven coaches from South African rail utility, Transnet.
So far, the railways firm has received 10 locomotives, seven passenger coaches and all the 200 wagons. The company’s spokesperson, Mr Nyasha Maravanyika, attributed the growth in revenue in the first quarter to the correlation that exists between NRZ and its customers.
“Definitely the equipment has increased our capacity but in terms of revenue we cannot say much there because this equipment started operating mostly when the second quarter started (at the end of April).
“And what I can tell you is that in the first quarter we had a five percent increase in terms of our targeted revenues of $18 million but I wouldn’t say this came about because of the leased equipment.
“We had our targeted revenue budget, which was exceeded by five percent in our first quarter,” he said.
“Basically, this is attributed more to trust by our customers and the correlation that exists between ourselves and our customers who continue giving us more business. It is our reliance on their business that has helped us to surpass our expectations.”
Mr Maravanyika said the impact of the leased equipment in terms of revenue inflows was expected to be realised during the second quarter. In the first quarter NRZ moved over 560 000 tonnes.
Under the $400 million recapitalisation project with DIDG/Transnet consortium, NRZ will acquire rolling stock, signalling equipment and information communication technology equipment to increase capacity utilisation. The NRZ system has a design capacity to move 18 million tonnes of freight a year but is presently moving just over three million tonnes and the recapitalisation programme was expected to improve freight volumes.