Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
ROAD Motor Services (RMS), a subsidiary of the National Railways of Zimbabwe, is set to operationalise its dry port facility in Namibia early next year and targets to generate $3.5 million earnings.
Speaking during the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development strategic planning workshop in Bulawayo last week, RMS managing director, Mr Cosmas Mutakaya, said they were presently working on the modalities regarding regularising and registration of the facility.
“We are targeting to operationalise the dry port facility by March 31, 2018 and we are confident that this will happen,” he said.
Zimbabwe is developing the dry port in Namibia as part of efforts to expand its trade with the outside world. The dry port is being built in the coastal city of Walvis Bay as part of efforts to broaden external trade routes and improve business competitiveness.
“Phase 1 development of the dry port facility in Walvis Bay has been completed and the target of 100 percent was complete as at June 30, 2017. The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development (Dr Joram Gumbo) highlighted concerns over delays of completion of the dry port,” said Mr Mutakaya.
The first phase of the project, which involved building the security wall and paving the entire ground was completed at a cost of $1.3 million.
The second phase of the project includes building a double storey office block, and electrical power installations is 65 percent complete.
At present, Zimbabwe largely uses Mozambican and South Africa trade routes and the South African route is heavily congested.
The Government was offered the land to construct a dry port facility by Namibia years ago, but construction only started in 2015.
Turning to challenges facing RMS, Mr Mutakaya said his organisation faced among others, competition from players in the transport industry.
“Our sector is oversubscribed by transport operators, dynamic business environment and information technology and management of projects in a foreign country,” he said.
Despite the challenges RMS was facing, Mr Mutakaya said they were focusing on increased haulage capacity.
“We are currently negotiating with respective financing partners on the procurement of state-of the art haulage trucks, proceeding and financing modalities would be submitted to the relevant ministry in due course at the earliest convenience,” he said.
In 2018, RMS targets to move 410 000 tonnes generating at least $3.5 million.—@okazunga
Article Source: The Chronicle