The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Board has approved an investment of $850 million into rail infrastructure and rolling stock for Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL).
IDC Group Chief Executive Officer Mr Mateyo Kaluba, said the investment is important because it is a wholesome package which attends to the entire capacity constraints of ZRL.
“Previously, interventions made were for specific challenges that Zambia Railways Limited had. We want to have a holistic approach to the intervention”, he said.
Mr Kaluba said the growth of ZRL was paramount as it plays a key role in the growth of the Zambian economy. It is for this reason that the IDC fully supports the transformation of ZRL from an ordinary rail company to a total logistics provider.
He further added the transformation of ZRL directly fits in with the IDC value addition objective, where each company in the IDC group is expected to play a role in value addition in the country.
He noted with delight the improvements in tonnage by 31% and revenue by 25% in the last two years since the IDC took over as shareholder. However, he said ZRL must diversify its revenue sources so that the nation can have a strong company that can have the right impact on the country as a whole.
He said SI number seven which mandates 30% cargo is transported by rail, reinforces the Corporations’ resolve to enhance capacity of ZRL as currently, the speed and capacity is not where it should be.
Mr Kaluba was speaking to the media, during a familiarisation tour of ZRL in Kabwe recently.
Meanwhile ZRL Managing Director Mr Christopher Musonda, said he was happy the IDC Group CEO and his entourage had taken time to visit ZRL headquarters. He further said the next tour would include Mulobezi and Chililabombwe so that the shareholder has full knowledge and appreciation of what happens in the Rail system.