Over $100m needed to revive Tazara line

Tanzania and Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) has been directed to draw up a comprehensive and bankable business plan by the end of January 2015 that would clearly map the future and ensure that the Authority becomes self-sustaining going forward.

This was among resolutions reached during the Tazara Council of Ministers meeting held in Dar es Salaam at the weekend.

According to a communiqué released to the media, Tazara shareholders will immediately inject not less than $25 million into the Authority, subject to an acceptable and bankable business plan being in place. 

The council also reviewed the implementation of the resolutions reached during its last meeting in July.

According to the communiqué the two countries agreed to provide funding of $80 million for re-capitalisation and working capital requirements.

So far, a total of $6 million has been disbursed, which has been applied in paying salaries in both countries.

The Council also directed that other operators should be allowed to run both passenger and freight services on the Tazara railway.

“In this regard, the board has been directed to work out modalities to  allow other operators to access Tazara railway by the end of January 2015 or even earlier,” read part of the communiqué.

The Council also reviewed the operational performance of Tazara where it found out that it had fallen to record low levels recently of less than 300,000 tonnes of freight per year.

During the peak in the late 1980s, the Authority used to transport 1.2 million tonnes.

“This situation calls for immediate remedial measures to resuscitate the company and save it from total collapse; but the dire need for re-investment in the Authority in this regard is well-acknowledged and received attention,” read the communiqué in part.
Source: The Citizen, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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