Foreign firms keen to recapitalise NRZ Parastatal sets up recapitalisation steering committee
THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has set up a steering committee to oversee the parastatal’s recapitalisation programme.
The NRZ, which in recent years has failed to operate profitably due to undercapitalisation and ageing equipment, needs about $400 million in the short-to long-term.
The parastatal requires about $1,9 billion in the long-term to be fully revitalised and transformed.
The firm’s board chairman Mr Larry Mavima said:
“As you might be aware, following my appointment as board chairman in March this year, the recapitalisation of NRZ was one of my priorities.
“We’ve basically established a steering committee to oversee the recapitalisation programme for NRZ and we’ll be ready to go into the market early December to put a request for proposal and project information memorandum.
“And after three months, we’ll then close the tender before going through the adjudication process and as the NRZ board and management, we’ll also make and submit our recommendations to Government.
“We hope by April next year, the Government will announce the investor to partner NRZ.”
He said several companies from China, one from Egypt and Dubai had shown keen interest in recapitalising the parastatal.
Options available for NRZ recapitalisation include Public Private Partnership, Build Operate Transfer and debt equity transfer, joint venture, a loan or a combination of the above.
As part of the turnaround strategy spearheaded by Mr Mavima, the railways company has also acquired 31 state-of-theart wagons to the tune of $3 million from China under its broader refurbishment programme.
At present, the NRZ has 168 locomotives with 64 of that figure being serviceable and only 3 467 of its 7 255 wagons are operational.
“A week after my appointment, NRZ embarked on an industrial strike that lasted for 76 days.
“As board and management, we’re working tirelessly to turn around the fortunes of the company.
“Our business has also been boosted by the grain importation programme the Government has embarked on.
“Since April this year, we’ve moved in excess of 270 000 tonnes of maize imports that have come through Beira and Maputo,” Mr Mavima said.
The company’s turnaround strategy also relates to rightsizing employees in relation to business available.
It is believed that the rightsizing of NRZ’s workforce will only be implemented after results of a forensic audit being carried out by an independent auditor have been established.
“At its peak, the railways employed nearly 20 000 workers and moved 18 million tonnes of freight annually.
Its workforce 5 700.
The company is now moving less than 100 000 tonnes of freight per week following the collapse of the local industry. — @okazunga is presently at about
Mr Larry Mavima