NRZ seeks mandate to transport heavy metals, minerals

NRZ seeks mandate to transport heavy metals, minerals
Published: 29 January 2018 (725 Views)
The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), through the Transport and Infrastructural Development Ministry, is lobbying Cabinet to promulgate a Statutory Instrument that would ring-fence heavy metals and minerals to be transported by rail. In an interview in Gweru recently, NRZ Board Chairman, Mr Larry Mavima said NRZ had sent their proposal to Cabinet for consideration.

Mr Mavima said once approved NRZ will have the mandate to transport all heavy metals and minerals. "What we did is we went to Cabinet through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and requested for a special dispensation where we would ring-fence certain products to remove them from road back to rail.

"We hope that it will assist in the maintenance of our roads and also increase business and revenue for the railways. We were basically looking at mineral products that were being transported by road and any other heavy material. The proposal is under consideration and we hope it will have a positive outcome," he said.

The state of the country's roads has partly been blamed on the ailing rail company, which is supposed to transport heavy material. Most mining companies have resorted to using haulage trucks to transport minerals and other heavy materials.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo recently said the haulage trucks that were being used by mining companies to transport minerals were shortening the lifespan of the country's major highways. He said the revival of NRZ will ensure that most heavy materials will not be transported by road. Minister Gumbo said rail was cheaper than road transportation, hence, the need to immediately retool and revitalise NRZ.

"The advantage with rails is that it is cheaper. In Midlands alone there are big companies that are slowly awakening and these can bring big business to NRZ. We have Shabanie Mine, Zim Alloys, Zimasco, Sable Chemicals and many others that can use rail to transport their products.

"NRZ is key in terms of economic development and we hope that its revival will also see most heavy materials and minerals being transported by rail and removed from the roads. This is because these minerals that are being transported by haulage trucks shorten our roads' lifespan," he said.

Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development recently corroborated that there was need for Government to craft a policy that would deter haulage trucks carrying heavy goods to use the country's major highways and make use of rail for transportation of heavy products, such as minerals within and outside the country.

- the herald

Tags: NRZ, Mandate, Minerals,
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