Home » General » NRZ to Dispose of Foreign Assets, Recapitalise

Government has hinted at the possibility of disposing foreign assets belonging to the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), and use the funds to re-capitalise the country’s sole railway company.The state-owned railway company is currently struggling due to lack of capital and dilapidated infrastructure and equipment.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Obert Mpofu – under whose portfolio the NRZ falls – however, told a committee of Parliament on Monday that they would consider cashing in on the national railways’ assets abroad after wider consultations.

“In South Africa we (the NRZ) have mining claims running into millions if not billions of dollars under a company called Pan African Minerals Development Company, which is partly owned by Zambia through the then Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and also by South Africa since the resources are on her land.

“The mining claims are for minerals ranging from diamonds, gold and manganese.

“We, however, stand guided by Government on how we should deal with them.

“But we can get lots and lots of funding from them,” said Minister Mpofu.

The NRZ owns a ‘significant’ stake in Pan African Minerals Development Company (PAMDC), diamondiferous concessions in South Africa.

PAMDC was created in 2007 to take over the mining concessions previously owned by ZIZA, a group that was jointly owned by the railway companies of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The creation of PAMDC was essentially to incorporate South Africa into the ownership rungs of the entity after the South African government laid claim to ZIZA’s concessions under the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (of 2004), which vests all mineral rights with the state.

Figures provided by the transport ministry show that NRZ’s total number of locomotives had declined from 101 in 2000 to 80 in 2006 while that of wagons declined from 9 019 to 5 824 during the same period.

Resultantly, volumes moved have also declined.

The under performance of the NRZ has had wider ramifications for other economic players in sectors such as industry, mining and agriculture as firms have shifted their bulk business to haulage trucks which is more costly.

Source : The Herald