BULAWAYO, July 20 (The Source) — Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Joram Gumbo on Wednesday said government will revive struggling National Railways of Zimbabwe by outlawing bulk transportation of goods by road.
“That is the way to go and (banning bulk transportation of goods by road) is what we are planning to do because if we allow big trucks to ply our roads, they will actually destroy them and there would be continuous rehabilitation of the roads. It is something that we are considering,” Gumbo said at the inaugural infrastructure development conference held in Bulawayo alongside the Mining, Engineering and Transport Expo (MineEntra).
He was responding to a question by chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development and Chegutu West legislator, Dexter Nduna, who wanted to find out what the government was going to revive the NRZ.
The ban would be through a statutory instrument (SI), Gumbo said.
“We will not be the first ones to do that,” he said.
The SI would be good news to the struggling NRZ, which has been incapacitated due to lack of business, a situation which arose due to the parastatal’spoor reliability.
Recently, it slashed salaries by up to 50 percent as it continues to face viability challenges amid declining business volumes and charges of mismanagement.
A report by the Auditor General on NRZ’s 2014 accounts showed that its freight unit was generating annual revenue of $91,2 million, but incurring costs of $103 million. The passenger unit had annual revenues of $3,2 million, with costs over three times more at $10,9 million.