• June 17th, 2019
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TransNamib begs to use assets to access finance

WINDHOEK - TransNamib CEO Johny Smith said the company requires N$2.5 billion in order to purchase new technology, new locomotives, additional assets and maintaining their infrastructures amongst others. 

To this end, the company says it seeks approval from the shareholder, the Namibian government, to use its N$3 billion worth of property as guarantee to borrow money from the capital market.  
Smith said they have old and unreliable locomotives, of which some are as old as more than 50 years. The ageing fleet breaks down frequently, Smith said.

Smith also said some of their railway stations have not been maintained for more than 15 years.
However, the relatively new CEO, who was appointed earlier this year, said the N$2.5 billion should ideally be availed in portions over the duration of the company’s five-year business plan.

He and his four heads of operations, engineering, finance and human resources had a consultative meeting with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economic and Public Administration on Wednesday.

During his presentation, Smith said one of their four strategic objectives is to improve the financial performance and have a break even by 2023. He said they will focus on consumer and increase cargo volume in the next five years. TransNamib carries 1.5 million tons of cargo on annual basis and want to double it to about three million tons by 2023.

“TransNamib is doing 18 percent of all cargo that are moving within this country. I am sure all of us are travelling and see all the time the number of trucks on the road. There is major opportunity for us to get the trucks off the road,” he said. 
He stated that part of their recommendation to Cabinet is that certain bulk of commodities are moved by rail as they are only doing a portion of that.

He stated that at the moment, they require 55 locomotives per day to do their business of 1.5 millions tons per year but they are only having 34 locomotives, which are unreliable and old.

“In order to double up our volumes, we will have 86 locomotives in year five, then we will be really moving the business for the company,” stated Smith who is a firm believer of performance.

He explained that in terms of their business plan, they will only buy 10 new locomotives as they will be re-manufacturing most of their old locomotives-taking old locomotives and making them new. 

TransNamib has about 1281 employees.  They move cement, milk, mining commodities, malt and raw material for top scores amongst others.   Smith said he was disappointed his first months at the company to see that clients where not part of the business but they are focusing on that.

Deputy chairperson of the committee Loide Shinavene said the committee considers TransNamib as a key and very important stakeholder in the transport and rail industry. 

“As a committee mandated to oversee the economic sectors in our country, we have been following with keen interest the media reports on the challenges facing TransNamib. The media may not present the overall picture, hence this meeting,” stated Shinavene.

Shinavene said the transport and logistics sector is critical in the attainment of developmental goals as highlighted in the vision 2030, HHP and NDP5, as such, they felt its prudent to convene the meeting to be briefed about the long-term plans and strategies they intend to implement to make TransNamib an efficient and profitable entity.

Selma Ikela
2018-11-16 08:51:07 7 months ago

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