A FORMAL agreement for the operation of passenger services on the Zambian Railways network was signed by Finance & National Planning Minister Ng’andu Magande and representatives of New Limpopo Bridge Projects Investments (Pty Ltd) on August 9. The deal follows signing of the terms for the freight concession in February (RG 4.03 p180), and paves the way for the start of the 20-year concession this month.

According to ZR General Manager Goran Malmberg, whose contract expires in December, Zambia Railways Ltd will remain in existence to own the rail assets and monitor the concession on behalf of the government. A new General Manager is to be appointed within the next two months, and ZR will retain around 20 staff.

The remaining ZR employees will be transferred to Railway Systems of Zambia, the NLPI concessionaire company registered earlier this year, which is owned 80% by NLPI and 17% by Spoornet of South Africa. The remaining 3% stake has been reserved for the employees. RSZ has appointed the former Managing Director of Botswana Railways Bates Botana as its first General Manager.

  • Zambia Railways announced in July that it expected to move 2·3 million tonnes of freight by the end of 2003, of which 60% would come from the copperbelt. This would be a 22% increase on the 1·9 million tonnes handled in 2002, lifting revenue from 113bn to 120bn kwacha.