The completion of the upgrading of the Nandi-Mkwasine railway line will guarantee provision of safe and cost effective rail transportation services for sugar cane farmers in the lowveld.

The project was officially commissioned by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Dr Jorum Gumbo.

The now refurbished railway line siding that links the sugar cane plantations in Mkwasine to the main NRZ line at Nandi siding, was constructed in 1978.

The track had deteriorated causing frequent derailments and poor transit times due to speed restrictions. 

The line has since been refurbished at a cost of $7 million which was funded by the European Union and the Zimbabwean government under the national sugar adaptation strategy.

EU representative Mr Thomas Opera said the investment will improve the performance of the sugar industry.

Zimbabwe exports some of its sugar to Europe.

NRZ board chairman Mr Larry Mavhima noted the rehabilitation of the Nandi-Mkwasine railway line is part of the parastatal’s turnaround strategy.

Dr Gumbo said government acknowledges the importance of the sugar production sector as evidenced by the investment in the rehabilitation of the railway line to ensure it better serves communities surrounding it.

The Nandi-Mkwasine line accounts for the movement of approximately 400 000 metric tonnes of sugar cane per annum to mills in Triangle and Hippo Valley.