ZRL increases business by 22 percent
By Staff Reporter
ZAMBIA Railways Limited has increased its haulage by 22 percent, since the enactment of Statutory Instrument, which makes it mandatory for 30 per cent of all bulky cargo to be moved by rail transport.
And Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) member Geoffrey Sakulanda has asserted that the Corporation was committed to changing State-owned enterprises’ negative perception of nepotism when employing people.
Addressing journalists before presenting a K100, 000 dividend to Sakulanda in Lusaka today, Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) board chairman Lubinda Linyama noted that in February this year, Statutory Instrument No. 7 of 2018 was promulgated, “which has resulted in making it mandatory for 30 per cent of all bulky cargo to be moved by means of rail transport.”
“So, we have taken several measures as a company to ensure that the Statutory Instrument is properly effected and enforced. So, several overtures have been undertaken. For example, we have service level agreements that have been signed with big mining houses which has seen an increase of about 22 per cent in terms of the tonnage that we move on a monthly basis,” Linyama noted.
“So, the Statutory Instrument has begun its enforcement process. We have moved in…. In terms of locomotive strength, we are looking at bringing in a minimum of 10 new locomotives to ensure that we grow the capacity of the company.”
He told journalists that the ZRL had engaged a company called SMH from Malaysia who “we are pleased to actually announce that they’ve finished the manufacturing of four locomotives from our Kabwe workshop.”
“As a way of assuring the shareholder, our intention is to ensure that we make this company profitable. We believe that the railway sector is key in terms of bringing in developmental projects in Zambia,” Linyama said.
Asked why locals were not considered to remanufacture the locomotives, Linyama explained that the issue of the Malaysians coming on board was a decision taken a long time.
“They’ve been in our workshop since maybe 2013 – somewhere around there. The reason why the Malaysians were awarded that particular business is because of capacity. We have had situations where our local people in Zambia have not indicated capacity to undertake a remanufacture process for locomotives,” noted Linyama.
And Sakulanda pointed out that it was the wish of the IDC that the stock of State-owned enterprise begun to contribute to the growth of the economy by improving on the contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP.)
“It is the wish of the IDC to see a turn-around in the performance of State-owned enterprise. We are all aware of the historical position or should I say the attitude of the Zambian public towards State-owned enterprises. State-owned enterprises have a negative history of being just sources of employment for relatives of powerful people. But we would like to assure you that that is now set to change. IDC, in partnership with the Boards of Directors that are now in place in all the State-owned enterprises, are committed to changing that impression altogether so that we begin to see and experience these State-owned enterprises, including Zambia Railways,” said Sakulanda.