• February 21st, 2020

TransNamib’s freight revenue up 8% but needs N$1.5 billion to fix trains

WINDHOEK – TransNamib has grown freight revenue by more than eight percent since it closed all its road transportation services to focus on its core business of rail transport, which is in line with its new focus and slogan “Rail it!”. 

According to the company’s Executive: Commercial and Marketing, Hippy Tjivikua, this is, in fact, a major achievement as all these volumes were previously carried by road.

“The road-to-rail strategy is one of the fundamental principles for the successful implementation and roll out of the Integrated Strategic Business Plan (ISBP) of TransNamib. This strategy is rather longer-term than short-term,” explained Tjivikua.  

The road-to-rail strategy mainly entails attracting bulk freight rail and other rail-friendly cargo back to the trains. Tjivikua emphasised that the exercise is not merely an overnight project but rather a long-term initiative where bulk freight will gradually be moved off roads and onto the railways. In doing so TransNamib will focus on its core business of rail transport, which in turn is expected to reduce operational costs, push revenue, and reduce road traffic and road damage.   

Responding to questions from New Era, Tjivikua noted that as part of the company’s five-year business plan, it requires more than N$1.5 billion to rehabilitate old locomotives and buy new locomotives where required. 
“In total, we have 43 operational, old and unreliable, locomotives. Out of these 43, only about an average of 31 locomotives are available on a daily basis,” Tjivikua stated. 

“From here on going forward, TransNamib is only providing service from station to station or station to siding. The road transportation services have ceased and TransNamib shall shed off all vehicles that were used for this purpose.  All these vehicles, which are in any case far beyond the lifetime, have been and some others will be put on public auction,” Tjivikua explained.  He added that a programme is in place to redeploy truck drivers and road transport-related employees to other departments within the company. TransNamib is also banking on the possible implementation of a metro rail passenger service in Windhoek. 

A possible move by government to introduce a metro train service linking Windhoek with the international airport, Okahandja and Rehoboth, should provide a lifeline to TransNamib’s business and its existing operating model.

“I am excited about this project because it’s taking a long-term prospective on moving passengers around and providing an alternative and a much safer means of transportation. We are working with the government on this project and have started engaging,” TransNamib CEO Johnny Smith said in a recent media report.

TransNamib is expected to operationalise the proposed metro system, which Smith admitted would most likely require a public private partnership.

Edgar Brandt
2019-07-30 06:55:31 | 6 months ago

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