NRZ pays Spoornet R6m monthly

Godfrey Marawanyika

THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) is paying South African rail service provider, Spoornet, R6 million in monthly charges.



ica, sans-serif”>The foreign currency is being dished out mainly because the NRZ is failing to return wagons borrowed from the South Africans.

Spoornet is a division of Transnet Ltd, a commercialised company in which the South African government is also a shareholder.

The latest development comes against the backdrop of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NRZ management and another South African firm known as Sheltam. Under the MoU the SA firm will lease locomotives to be used by local chrome mining concern, Zimasco.

The situation has been worsened by NRZ only having 60 usable locomotives when it needs at least 108 to operate viably.

Transnet has seven divisions providing various transport services.

Spoornet represents the group’s rail transport interests and is the largest of Transnet’s divisions in terms of revenue, size and employee numbers.

Concerned by the continued hemorrhaging of foreign currency from Zimbabwe to pay escalating foreign debts, central bank governor Gideon Gono said NRZ management should enhance operational efficiencies for a long-term recovery.

“Unavailability of locomotives has thus seriously impacted on the company’s ability to return foreign wagons to the owning railway administrations, especially to Spoornet,” Gono said. “This limitation is resulting in NRZ paying monthly interchange costs of around R6 million to Spoornet, effectively eating into the country’s limited foreign exchange resources.”

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