‘NRZ JV agreement end of May’

THE $400 million recapitalisation deal between the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and the Diaspora Investment Development Group (DIDG)/Transnet Consortium is well on course, with the joint venture agreement expected to be signed off by end of May.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

“The deal is proceeding absolutely well. We have completed doing due diligence on DIDG/Transnet deal. We are now completing the joint venture agreement, ready to be presented in the Cabinet for approval. But before that, we would need to submit it to the Finance and Economic Development minister, Patrick Chinamasa. By end of May we should have signed off,” NRZ board chairman, Larry Mavima told NewsDay last week.

He said the deal was still within their time frame and the financial closure is expected by June 2018.

The DIDG/Transnet consortium won a bid to partner NRZ in the $400 million recapitalisation project.

The project will involve the rehabilitation and renewal of plant, equipment, rolling stock, signalling and telecommunications infrastructure and the supporting information technology systems.

The project will also see the repairing and rehabilitation of infrastructure and equipment such as locomotives, wagons and coaches, as well as phased modernisation of the train control system.

The rail parastatal is targeting to move four million tonnes of freight in 2018, up 25% from last year’s figures on the back of service level agreements signed with key customers.

Responding to a report by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport on an inquiry into NRZ’s turnaround strategy recently, Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Joram Gumbo said government had agreed to warehouse the $323,5 million NRZ debt to ensure that the parastatal’s legacy debts do not drive away potential investors.