THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) Pension Fund anticipates to generate about US$7,2 million from its real estate portfolio this year, NewsDay Business can report.
According to a report on the situation of the NRZ Pension Fund provided to the parliamentary committee on transportation recently, the parastatal has given its real estate regional managers targets for year 2023 to earn US$600 000 per month from the sector, translating to US$7,2 million per annum.
The funds, according to the railway entity, will be used to support the operations of the freight sector.
The Pension Fund’s real estate portfolio is geographically spaced across the country and is divided into three regions namely: eastern, midlands and southern which are all managed by regional managers.
This business portfolio is responsible for overseeing the fund’s real estate assets which include commercial land and farms, office accommodation, residential houses, warehouses and commercial developments at stations and sidings.
“The NRZ Pension Fund in previous years had engaged Richard Ellis to manage its properties and it turned out this was a costly arrangement as instead of getting revenue, the fund was required to pay management fees and thus cancelled the arrangement,” the report read in part.
“The management of the portfolio since 2021 has been allocated to regional managers who have since grown this portfolio from a monthly lease value equivalent to US$224 964,26 to current earnings of US$412 583,71 and the managers have been given stretch targets for year 2023 to earn US$600 000 per month from the sector to support operations of the freight sector.”
The report noted that revenue from the real estate division had been minimal, officials said.
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In 2021, the fund began dealing with land barons in its real estate assets.
“Land barons were left with small portions and individuals who were sub-leasing were issued with leases to pay rentals directly to the fund. The company also recovered properties which had been illegally sold, and, fortunately, the sellers used fake title deeds and thus NRZ recovered properties in Lochinvar and Mutare,” it said.
The fund, the report notes, is now zoning its land to have blanket rentals payable per square metre for each area.
“We are pursuing a number of options for growth, among them, a joint venture for the development of an SMEs Park in Rugare, space rationalisation to release some ofthe space for leasing, and multi tenanting for space in high demand areas, the report said.”