The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ)’s cargo export capacity has increased by 85 000 tonnes to 492 000 in the first 11 months of 2018 compared to the same period last year,  reflecting a 20 percent jump from the 2017 figure.

The development was boosted by strong activity at regional ports of entry mainly Zambia, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The national rail carrier is pinning hope for further growth on improved coal production at Hwange Colliery, as well as strong growth of chrome output at ZIMASCO which will push cargo volumes to at least 3.4 million tonnes, gradually increasing its freight tonnage from the current 3 million tonnes a year to its design capacity of 18 million tonnes a year.

The parastatal is on a rebound following a deal sealed with the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG)/ Transnet Consortium of South Africa that leased 13 locomotives, 200 wagons and 7 coaches to NRZ, and aiding in restoring viability at the rail institution.

NRZ sealed a US$400 million recapitalization deal with DIDG, with negotiations to unlock the funds expected to be concluded by March next year.