Transformational policies can address Africa’s challenges

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Africa needs transformational policies that include private sector participation, increased productivity levels and the creation of jobs, says Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi.

“A robust economic transformation is the key to shaping Africa’s ability to generate inclusive growth and tackle serious challenges, such as poverty and unemployment,” said the Minister on Wednesday when he addressed the handover of the rail rolling stock from Transnet to the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) in Bulawayo.

Transnet SOC Ltd-Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG) Consortium delivered rolling stock to the NRZ to strengthen regional integration, trade and the recapitalisation of the Zimbabwean railway programme.

Transnet said the transaction between a South African-Zimbabwean consortium and NRZ is estimated at just over USD400 million.

It will further contribute to the realisation of the north-south corridor programme in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

“I believe that the NRZ/Transnet partnership will go a long way towards harmonising and supporting the safe movement of freight and passengers in the region.

“What is imperative for us as Ministers of Transport is to ensure that such opportunities contribute towards building intra-regional trade, contribute to increasing industrialisation in the target country and that the initiative is aligned with priority programmes in the host country, the region and the continent,” Minister Maswanganyi said.

Transnet said the delivery of the rolling stock will contribute to the region’s plans to perform an uninterrupted intra-trade and efficient railway system cementing Transnet’s Africa strategy which will see railway, terminal and ports integration throughout the continent.

“To address Zimbabwe’s immediate railway capacity shortfalls, the consortium has entered into a six-month lease agreement for the rolling stock; the agreement is renewable on demand,” Transnet said.

Transnet’s Group Chief Executive Siyabonga Gama said the nature of the contract and the relationship with neighbouring and continent-wide rail, ports, and pipeline logistics providers tells a story of how Transnet strives to collaborate and grow its footprint on the African continent, Middle East and South Asia.

“This is not only a historical event, but a key economic contribution to the milestones set out for Zimbabwe,” he said.

Transnet said the delivery of the new and refurbished rolling stock will be finalised and announced in the near future as the consortium and Zimbabwe authorities conclude all the required governance processes and agreements.

“The new railway equipment for the mainline solution will be manufactured in South Africa by Transnet through its advanced manufacturing arm. This accomplishment will also reinforce Transnet’s transition from its current Market Demand Strategy to Transnet 4.0 Strategy,” Transnet said.

The main growth thrusts of Transnet 4.0 includes the expansion of the company’s manufacturing business, with leading technologies to enhance new and existing  products and improve business processes. – SAnews.gov.za