Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Transnet wins $400m NRZ tender

By Phillimon Mhlanga

Government has awarded the tender for the $400 million recapitalisation of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) to South Africa’s Transnet, which is partnering a consortium of non-resident Zimbabweans in the project.

National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) trains
National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) trains

NRZ board chairman, Larry Mavhima, told The Financial Gazette that the Transnet-DIDG consortium had won the tender.

“I can confirm that we have received correspondence from SPB (State Procurement Board) that the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group, in partnership with Transnet, has won the tender to recapitalise NRZ,” Mavhima said.

“DIDG’s bid price was $400 million, the amount which we were looking for. We have worked very hard for this since I came in as board chairman and now we have been given the authority to engage them for further discussion.”

There were five other bidders for the NRZ revival, namely China Civil Engineering, Sino Hydro, accountancy firm Crowe Horwath & Welsha, SHM Railway of Malaysia and Croyeaux Limited of Zimbabwe.

The NRZ board appointed a transaction advisor, Deloitte, and held a pre-bid conference in Bulawayo in May this year.

The recapitalisation programme is expected to re-equip the parastatal and make it competitive.

Over the years, diminishing revenues, coupled with the high operational costs, had seriously affected the NRZ’s reinvestment and maintenance programmes, to the extent that the locomotive and wagon fleet has been severely reduced.

The NRZ requires about $2 billion to turn around its fortunes, but the $400 million would help reposition the parastatals for self sustenance. The company is a vital cog in the country’s economy and has potential to become an important regional transport hub.

The NRZ network provides a vital link between landlocked countries like Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo as well as seaports in South Africa and Mozambique. It is hoped that the restoration of NRZ’s operational capacity will renew confidence in industry and make the parastatal a preferred and cheaper mover of bulk freight in and outside the country.

NRZ’s goods transport business, which at its peak was raking in about 95 percent of the company’s revenue, has declined to about 2,8 million tonnes of cargo annually from a peak of 18 million tonnes shipped in 1998.

DIDG is fronted by Johannesburg-based Donovan Chimhandamba and involves non-resident Zimbabwean professionals, mostly based in South Africa. The vehicle has raised $400 million in structured finance, Chimhandamba told The Financial Gazette in June.

Part of the DIDG consortium’s proposal would entail the creation of a separate joint venture company with the NRZ, with Transnet providing the technical expertise, as well as its strategic assets and regional footprint.

“Transnet is a technical partner. It’s not just a financial solution, looking at the capital requirements. For us, the market is a regional play. The real value is in capturing the regional market and Transnet is key in that regard,” Chimhandamba said, citing the South African firm’s forays into Zambia and the DRC as well as its port infrastructure. The Financial Gazette

  • Let’s hope they won’t renege like that Nigerian tycoon Dangote

  • Oh no.. The Guptas are coming to Zim now

    • 😂 Let them come Bro, as long as they will create employment for the ordinary citizen , one way or the other , the Capitalists top the list of those who have got such kind of money to invest. If its not the Guptas some Capitalist will take over. Its all the same let them come and create employment for some.

    • True

    • Well said Thaba

    • I don’t think they will succeed.already Metrorail is in big mess.They are failing to give their customers good service what more .

  • zvakumaker sense

  • Zim and SA are going to be one country soon. Mark my words.

    • The dream of Cecil Rhodes

    • Robert kkkkkk

    • Do u think Our rulers will allow that?

    • Ah…vanga vasati vazviziva isu takutoziva kt joni kumba kwedu….hakuna kumwe kwatichaenda bkz takatosvika

    • If Rhodes could unite them why can’t a black guy do the same? You mean to say the blackman has no brains? Me I think he has.

    • Never

    • Transnet is partnering in many countries including Mozambique,Lesotho Swaziland now zim

    • it looks like a province already

    • Rhodes’ railway line.

    • Probably the whole SADC region with special privileges for SA, Namibia and Botswana. Almost everything about this region is homogeneous except for the sophistication of economies, languages and cultures, things that can be overcome with a bit of clever politicking, diplomacy and technocracy.

      It’s good to dream sometimes…

    • Most of SADC, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Angola, Dr Congo, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho, share same cultures. Only the will power needed from our leaders. This can be a great natinn with a powerful economy.

  • Better

  • state capture both.

  • Better

  • Of course s.a is best

    • You never been somewhere . south Africa metro railway sucks . but it is good for poor countries. If you went to Japan or Dubai you will understand my point.

    • Point taken

  • Better as long they create employment.

  • better

  • It is good news to hear that the our country Zimbabwe is still thinking about “resuscitating” NRZ. However, we need to know who is the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG) that has gone into partnership with Transnet. I mean the identity of the people who makes up DIDG. You how important this is to the client and would be partners. Reporter, please advise

    • Obvious ZANU PF relatives

    • It’s part of Zanu Pfizer campaigning

    • Nice questions to ponder on there.. very brilliant investigative mind you have there my brother.I agree with you,this now requires deep,clever investigative reporting by the media to let us know about the background of the so called diaspora initiative, it is very very important to know the company background and experience in such huge projects.Also an indepth analysis of the individuals involved and their backgrounds and experiences is very important.Otherwise we will suspect that its those politically connected individuals masquerading as so called diaspora investors and it could be a fine tuned, illicit, crooked cabal of corrupt politicians and their bum lickers.

  • Where is the industry to support the railway transport? on the passengers side the trains would have to be extra unique and luxurious to attract long distant travellers and people will opt for trains for their low accident rates and safety records and shun buses.On the other hand,as long as top government officials and the politically connected peoples own buses, kombis and big haulage trucks, then we can forget about revival of NRZ..those greedy political goons won’t stand and watch NRZ taking away their transport market.

  • Where are they going to get that money? THey fail to pay civil servants full salary.Liyiqonde kahle le govt kukhona esikufuna ebantwini;kungakho iza ngamanga nje kuphela; akulakutho;laloba kunjalo vote Zanu out.Sikhathele ukuphila buhlungu EZImbabwe.

    • My broo the gvt of zim got money but they are not doing what they should be doing with it. Pafunge university inonzi inodakuvakwa nemariii ,road rikugadzirwa nemariii, mari iripo asi vanechistayera chekupemha chete . mari dzirimo mudzimba dzavo vanhu ava. Tokwe mukosi yakapera kuvakwa nemariii .APA vanhu vaingoita senge vasina zvinhu zvinooma kunesu asi vanhu mari vakaviga. Izvezvi eskom yakapihwa around 8 million kumbadhara chikwereti vakaiwanepi. Mapurisa kupinda muroad pamaroad blocks per week vanowana millions

  • Gupta to Zimbabwe too. Welcome

  • Nichol Nhlamulo Bamuza

  • For low income earners it will become relatively cheaper than using road transport since rail transport is cheaper than road & air transport. Therefore recapitalisation is of more important….

  • Kupiwa zvitima zvakudhara,old mbiri yarhodes

  • Three months from now you will be telling us that the deal has collapsed.

  • Under zanu pf, forget and smile. Thats one more way of looting. Zanu pf has never and will not build but destroy, boot them out 2018 or enjoy the suffering.

  • In 1998 when we had 18million tones shipped, i worked in the railway. We had a thriving industry and our agriculture sector was still exporting. Our mining sector was booming. Now we have nothing. Zilch. We are lucky to be still shipping the 2million tons per annum!

  • Is that why Mbeki flew in quietly?

  • Zim should ask for the whole blueprint of the Dubai Metro, and put that 400m$ to better use. Same project, same price with better results.

  • I think its a better move than givin that tender to a some kak chinese company and they come and do their zhing zhong stuff here

  • Mari yacho inobvepi? Mugabe took 22 years failing to build a single dam Tokwe Mukosi, nhasi ndiye oti pwetere pwetere transnet, hee dualisation Masvingo Harare Road. Tibvirepo kamuzezuru, dofo

  • This move was long overdue, next a full overhaul of the entire rail system from wagons to sleepers to the rail line itself

  • Would have made sense if the other billion was also going there rather. Not to a university that we do not need. There is a University ye ZAOGA (ZEGU) ne Bindura University so the point of another one is superfluous.

    • We need more universities its only you hate its name kkkkkk buda pachena hama

  • Good news not China

  • Transnet?????

  • Lacoste initiative. The man knows connections to get the economy back on the track again. Not some dull tribalists busy kufukidzwa mapitikoti na Grace and donating chickens yet claiming they know how to run an economy coz they trained in the Soviet Union. Shame. Soviet Union taught them poultry projects and twitting

  • Ko anachivhayo naana phidza varipi pamadeals akadai aya

  • Let’s look forward to the guys

  • Nhema idzo

  • Money down the drain … NRZ will neve pay where does the moey come from .

  • This is good news, some kind of progress, can I get woop woop

  • Transet is one of the best in this business, let’s hope this will be a fruitful deal.

  • Great

  • Where are we getting this money from .. Government revealing 1.4bn in projects in one week??

  • zvinga dai zvakaitwa kudhara izvi..
    nway mazogona

  • Zani Pf can never build anything

  • Pane nyaya ipapa