Government has promised to come up with initiatives to construct houses for National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) employees in a bid to revive its business locally and regionally.
NRZ’s business consists of organisations in the agricultural, industrial, mining and energy sectors which require rail services for the bulk movement of their inputs and outputs, locally as well as across the borders. The organisation is also responsible for the movement of all classes of transit traffic predominantly to/from the seaports from/to the landlocked countries to the north of Zimbabwe.
Speaking at NRZ strategic meeting, Bulawayo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Cde Judith Ncubd said she will help NRZ to get potential investors who may be scouting for investment opportunities within the province.
“The provision of urban commuter train services as significantly assisted the travelling public on the City Bellevue Mgwanwini to Khami corridor. Finally, I wish you great success in building the NRZ we want and I implore the NRZ team to continue investing in the province. I remain committed to doing everything possible to sell the NRZ story to potential investors whom may be scouting for investment opportunities within the province, ”she said.
Cde Ncube said that NRZ’s revival will help transportation costs to be reduced in the country.
“It is an honor to be here on this important occasion, the official launch of the NRZ strategic plan (2020-2030). I recall that the journey to crafting of this roadmap document began with a retreat at Matopos hills lodge in January 2020. I want to congratulate NRZ for successfully transportation cost are to be reduced thus this document would guide development of such rail sector to meet the customer’s expectations.
It is my expectation that the plan implementation will stir the NRZ onto the recovery path to reclaim its position as a key economic enabler for Bulawayo province and the country at large while at the same time positioning Zimbabwe as regional transport hub for the SADC region,” she said.
Minister Ncube said the government was so much committed to help the NRZ workers to get good welfare.
“Our workers have gone for a long time without being paid their salary however, they were still committed to do their job without hesitation.As a way of appreciating that commitment, dedication I did talk to our board chairman and our acting manager that let’s do something for such workers.
“As a way of motivating our workers the government is so much committed to help where we can. And I have just made an indication to the Chairman that you give me a piece of land by the end of day I can actually phone the Minister of National housing to build for the workers. The welfare of workers as government is important to us because we have planted a lot of skills and we don’t want to lose our skilled manpower so let’s do something.
It is hoped that such housing projects will reduce the national housing backlog, which presently stands at over one million units.
The provision of affordable housing to Zimbabweans is in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 11, which seeks to ensure access to adequate, safe and affordable housing for all by 2030.
Minister Ncube said NRZ is critical in reviving Bulawayo’s industry hence positively contributing towards the attachment of an upper middle class society by 2030.
The railway is the country’s bulk transporter as it provides transport for inputs and finished products to both the local industry and the region.
Secretary for state enterprises Reform, Corporate Governance and Procurement in the office of the president, Mr Willard Maungo said they were committed to grow NRZ as it was before.
“We have committed ourselves to achieve the strategic plan in a space of 10 years, the plan is to grow the NRZ from the giant it was before,” he said.
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