Communique issued on 25 Nov 2016

Communique issued on 25 Nov 2016

We, the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) Board of Directors, comprising the Permanent Secretaries responsible for Transport in Tanzania and Zambia, as Chairperson and Co-Chairperson, respectively, together with three other Board members from both countries, meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, this 25th Day of November 2016, do hereby declare as follows.

The Board noted from the Management’s Report of the First Quarter of the 2016/2017 Financial Year, commencing on 1st July 2016 and ending on 30th September 2016, that the Authority had continued posting improvements in both freight and passenger traffic.

The Board noted Management’s report that the Authority had transported 29,061 metric tonnes of freight, being an improvement of 9.4% compared to the corresponding First Quarter of 2015/2016 when 26,571 metric tonnes were transported.

The Board observed that the performance of the interstate passenger trains between Dar es Salaam and New Kapiri-Mposhi improved by 20.2%, having transported 133,863 passengers during the First Quarter of 2016/2017 compared to 111,335 passengers during the First Quarter of 2015/2016.

Between Makambako and Kidatu in Tanzania, the Udzungwa shuttle train conveyed 78,246 passengers, 58% above the First Quarter target of 49,500 passengers, compared to the 66,522 mark achieved in the corresponding First Quarter of 2015/2016 Financial Year.

The Dar es Salaam Commuter Train, on the other hand, moved 751,693 passengers compared to 513,899 passengers in the corresponding First Quarter of 2015/2016. The Commuter Train’s performance for this quarter of 2015/2016 was 46% above the set target.

The Board commended Management for recording operational surpluses on both the Udzungwa Shuttle and Dar es Salaam Commuter Trains, following the outsourcing of cabin services from the private sector.

The Management reported improvements in most operational indices in freight operations, including overall enhanced and consistent security and safety in train operations as well as an average transit time of 6.3 days and a wagon turn-round time of 24 days between Dar es Salaam and New Kapiri-Mposhi.
The improvements recorded during the period under review were mostly attributed to continued interventions by the two-shareholding Governments through the provision of working capital support, which facilitated an enabling business environment and stability in operations.
However, much as the Management reported appreciable strides in restoring positive performance indices, the Board also noted that there were still some operational challenges emanating from tax-related issues at the Port of Dar es Salaam.
The Board noted, nevertheless, that the relevant Authorities were in the process of studying and streamlining some policies with a view to eliminating the perceived bottlenecks and improving the business environment in both countries.

THE TAZARA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Private investors invited to tap into the US$1.2b investment gap in TAZARA

Private investors invited to tap into the US$1.2b investment gap in TAZARA

In order to get back to peak performance, the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) needs about US$250 million of investments in the short term and about US$1.2 billion in the long term, says Eng. Bruno Ching’andu, the Managing Director.

Speaking when he made a presentation to the 7th East and Central Africa Roads and Rail Summit 2016 in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday 27 September 2016, Eng. Ching’andu said that with that level of investment in the track, equipment and rollingstock, the target was a breakeven volume of freight of 600,000 tonnes per annum in the short-run and two million tonnes in the next five years.

The Managing Director called on private investors to partner with TAZARA in order to achieve the desired investments, assuring the gathering that the two shareholding governments were in the process of revising the TAZARA Act in order to make the company more commercially viable and attractive to private players.

“The private sector can take advantage of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) models to partner with us in the running of the Dar es Salaam Commuter Train, whose demand is massive and cannot be satisfied at the momment.

We are also open to PPPs in the installation of the signalling and telecommunication systems, which have been vanadalised over the years and are currently non-existent,” he said.

The Managing Director also highlighted PPP investment opportunities in TAZARA’s quarries and workshops, which he pointed out as having huge potential but required re-investment in equipment.

Eng. Ching’andu informed the audience about a number of measures that TAZARA had taken in the last six months with a view to reclaiming the market share of the available cargo destined to or originating from Malawi, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, cargo that was directly captive to TAZARA.

Amongst the measures, Eng. Ching’andu stated that TAZARA had transformed the application of freight rates by adopting a more flexible tariff regime that was responsive to macro economic conditions and market trends.

He highlighted that the firm had also enhanced rebranding efforts, position itself closer to the customers and forging strategic alliances with neighbouring railway operators, the Port of dar es Salaam, shippers and other logistics firms.

The Manaing Director pointed out that TAZARA’s most desired goal was to make meaningful contributions to the deelopment of the economies of Tanzania and Zambia.

“With the current level of interactions and closer dealings with the various stakeholders, we are optimistic that TAZARA’s huge potential to contribute to the economies of Tanzania and Zambia will be realized soon,” said Eng. Ching’andu.

He said that not only was he aware that TAZARA required substantive investment in many areas in order to achieve the goals that have been set out, but he was also confident that there were enough interventions in the pipeline to address the challenges that would enable TAZARA to perform at its peak. ENDS.

Communique on the occasion of the ZRL/SNCC/TAZARA Tripartite Summit

We, the Chief Executive Officers of Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL), Societe Nationale Des Chemins De Fer Du Congo Sarl (SNCC) and Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA), have this day jointly held consultations in line with the provisions of the Tripartite Agreement signed in Lubumbashi, DRC, on 7 March 2013 to harmonize relationships and operations among the three railways.

We have reviewed our operations and noted that:
(i) The will to maintain seamless operations amongst the three railways, facilitating movement of goods with ease across the three national boundaries, remains resolute and desirable considering the high demand for this kind of service from our customers;
(ii) Due to the inefficiencies and other challenges that had characterised the railways in the past, many customers had abandoned the railways and there is now urgent need to re-assure the market that things have changed in order to win back that confidence;

In this regard, we agreed as follows:
(i) In order to remain competitive and keep our institutions sustainable, it is necessary that we make known some of our challenges to our Governments for their attention and resolution, where possible;
(ii) Our operations must be reviewed further to enhance, improve and make our services to the customers as attractive as possible;
(iii) In order to win back the confidence of our customers, it is necessary that we consider every angle for creating efficiencies in our operations, including seeking possible ways of eliminating bottlenecks that emanate from outside the realms of the three railways; and
(iv) That the three railways come up with strategies to raise traffic volumes transported by the railways to more acceptable levels than the case is, currently.

Signed by:
ZRL Chief Excutive Officer
SNCC Director General
TAZARA Managing Director

Communique by the TAZARA Board of Directors

We, the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) Board of Directors, comprising the Permanent Secretaries responsible for Transport, in Tanzania and Zambia, as Chairperson and Co-Chairperson, respectively, together with three other Board members from both countries, meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, this 29th Day of July 2015, do hereby declare as follows.

The Board:

Operational Performance
Noted that the freight traffic performance of the Authority had started showing signs of improvement and commended Management for raising the annual performance from 87,000 metric tons of freight in the Financial Year 2014/2015 to 130,000 metric tons in the Financial Year 2015/2016, which translated into revenues of USD13.50 million for the year ending 30th June 2016.

Further noted that there were improvements in both the inter-state and commuter passenger train operations, which were now not only running on time but also operating cost-effectively in some units. In this regard, while commended for the improvements so far, the Management was urged not to relent but to go further and apply more efforts to eliminate all losses in all units and aim to attain the break-even point in all operations.

In addition, the Board noted the concerns expressed by the Authority’s customers and other stakeholders in the transport sector in Zambia and Tanzania, regarding the impact of the introduction of Value-Added Tax on services for goods transiting through the Port of Dar es Salaam and resolved to request the Dar es Salaam Corridor Committee to quickly undertake an independent study and advise on the competitiveness of the Dar es Salaam Port in light of this fiscal policy relative to other regional ports and the potential impact on TAZARA thereof.

Corporate Budget for 2016/2017

Considered the proposed Authority’s corporate budget for the Financial Year 2016/2017 and, taking into account the performance headways made so far by the new Management, approved a projected 381,000 metric tons of freight and 2,280,000 (interstate and commuter) passengers to be transported in the Financial Year 2016/2017, which will account for total revenue of USD44.10 million. The Board further urged Management to actively pursue non-rail business activities to supplement its revenues.

Public-Private Partnerships

Directed Management to be more aggressive towards creating and accommodating progressive proposals for Public-Private Partnerships and, in this regard, urged Management to expedite the conclusion of the proposed partnership with the Copperbelt University at the TAZARA Training Centre in Mpika as an area for enriching capacity building for the Authority.

Decentralisation

Deferred decentralisation of the Authority, pending review of the TAZARA Act and other policy and administrative matters, including institutional restructuring, cleaning of the Authority’s balance sheet and recapitalisation.

Review of the TAZARA Act

Noted that the review of the TAZARA Act of 1995, which aims to make the Authority more business-oriented, was still in progress in both countries.

Retired Employees on Contracts

Directed Management to discontinue the renewal of contracts for retired employees and ensure that succession plans were put in place for younger employees to take over the positions left by exiting staff.

THE TAZARA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

18m litres fuel order secured

As we consolidate our turnaround mission, we are delighted to announce the conclusion of an Agreement with African Fossils Limited of Tanzania to move 18 million litres (18,000 metric tones) of petroleum products to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the next one year.

The first consignment of about one million litres (1,000 metric tones) has already departed the Port of Dar es Salaam and we are confident that the initial two million litres (2,000 metric tones) will be successfully delivered to the DRC within the next one month.

This import order is particularly key because it fulfills our desire to balance the flow of traffic in both directions of our line as most of the traffic we are currently moving comprises exports from Zambia and DRC.

The fuel order is the second import consignment to be secured within a month, following the transportation order for 48 million litres (48,000 metric tones) of petroleum destined for Malawi.

Our target for this financial year ending 30 June 2017 is 381,000 metric tones, a three-fold improvement from 130,000 metric tones that we have recently hauled in the just ended 2015/2016 Financial Year.

We are grateful to African Fossils Limited for giving us a vote of confidence through this order, which also reaffirms the faith that our customers have generally placed in us to transform the Authority.

We believe we are well on course to turnaround TAZARA’s performance, which had dropped to the lowest in the Financial Year 2014/2015, when a paltry 87,680 metric tones was transported.

ENDS.
TANZANIA-ZAMBIA RAILWAY AUTHORITY
ISSUED BY:
Conrad K Simuchile
Head Public Relations

TAZARA: LIFE BEGINS AT 40

After completing the construction of the track, together with all the support infrastructure, and concluding successful trial operations, the Chinese officially handed over TAZARA on 1st July 1976. Commercial operations then officially begun on 14th July 1976.

On 14th July 2016, TAZARA turned 40 years!

The 40th Anniversary, in particular, is a great milestone, whether in the life of an individual or the corporate world. In the corporate world, a marketplace that is never predictable, age symbolizes strength and security.
And, as they say, “Life begins at 40!”

Our 40th Anniversary has come at a time when not only are we emerging from years of challenging times, but it is also a time when we we are determined to look forward and assure the world that we are back, and back with strength.

We are determined to turn this company around. We shall reclaim our position as the best transportation company in the region. That is our vision. That is where we are heading.

We have restored discipline in our operations so far and we are begining to win back the confidence of our customers, as can be evidenced by the number of orders we are now receiving to transport cargo to and from the Port of Dar es Salaam.

As we set sights on restoring confidence in full and reclaiming our vision, we are also aware that we are part of a larger community. We are thankful to the community for all the support we have received during the past trying times.

Cleaning of Hospitals
Today, our Deputy Managing Director, Dr Betram Kiswaga, led a team of enthiusiastic and celebratory employees who are based in Dar es Salaam to Temeke Hospital where they cleaned the surroundings and donated some mosquito nets. It is our intention to replicate this thank-you demonstration to 10 other hospitals within the localities of TAZARA. On specific dates, from 14th to 30th July 2016, we shall visit hospitals within our localities in Dar es Salaam, Mlimba, Makambako, Mbeya and Tunduma (in Tanzania) and Nakonde, Kasama, Mpika, Serenje and Kapiri-Mposhi (Zambia).

Donating Blood
We shall mobilise ourselves and volunteer to donate blood to the National Blood Bank in Kapiri-Mposhi and Dar es Salaam.

Planting Mango Trees
On 10th August 2016, all employees will be required to participate in the cleaning of surroundings and planting of Mango Trees at all stations along the line, from Dar es Salaam to New kapiri-Mposhi.

Hosting 1,600 Pupils on our Passenger Trains
On 25th August 2016, TAZARA will host about 1,600 pupils from 40 different schools in Dar es Salaam and Kapiri-Mposhi. The pupils will be taken on a train ride to experience the TAZARA spirit on a 20km journey from Dar es Salaam to Mwakanga and from New Kapiri-Mposhi to Lwanshimba and back.


Honouring our Passengers with discounts

During the week of 11 – 15 July 2016, we shall offer 40% discount to the first 200 travellers who will buy tickets during that week.


Time to talk to our customers

We shall hold an open week, encouraging members of the public to visit us and talk to us from 23 – 26 August 2016. In the same week, we shall host an exhibition showcasing our services and products at the Dar es Salaam and Lusaka premises. Some of our key partners and customers will join us in the exhibitions.

TAZARA launches Master Workers’ Council

The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) has a new organ – the TAZARA Master Workers’ Council, formed in accordance with the Labour Laws of the United Republic of Tanzania.

Speaking at the launch of the Council in Dar es Salaam, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, Works and Communications in Tanzania, Dr Leonard Chamuriho said the Master Workers Councils have registered huge successes where they have been introduced.

“These Councils have added good labour relations between management and workers unions, and workers in general,” Dr Chamuriho said.

Dr Chamuriho said TAZARA had continued to be a symbol of unity between Tanzania and Zambian and therefore important to the nationals of both countries.

He urged all members to utilise their membership to the Council to transform TAZARA and ensure that the glory days when TAZARA stood on its own returned.

TAZARA Managing Director, Eng. Bruno Ching’andu said he was confident that the Master Workers’ Council would benefit the institution.

“I am confident and comforted that the formation of the Master Workers’ Council will go a long way in consolidating dialogue and facilitating information flow to all structures and levels of the Authority,” he said.

The Master Workers Council is an all-inclusive organ, comprising 83 Councillors and encompassing membership from all structures of TAZARA, from the bottom to the top, from Tanzania and Zambia.

The Agreement for the establishment of the Council was made on 10th July 2013 between TAZARA and the Tanzania Railway Workers Union (TRAWU).

Although the Agreement is between TAZARA and TRAWU, the organisation involves all workers of TAZARA, including workers from the Head Office in Dar es Salaam, the Regional Office of Tanzania and the Regional Office of Zambia.

About TAZARA

TAZARA is a statutory body established in both the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Zambia, by the TAZARA ACT of 1975, later superseded by the TAZARA ACT of 1995. The governments of Tanzania and Zambia are the joint and equal shareholders of TAZARA, whose headquarters is in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The railway was constructed and equipped with the assistance of the Government of China, which provided an interest-free loan and expertise to construct the line between 1970 and 1975. TAZARA officially begun operations on 14th July 1976.

TAZARA links the Southern Africa Regional transport network to Eastern Africa, Asia and the rest of the world through the seaport of Dar es Salaam. It connects landlocked Zambia to the seaport of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania through New Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia, which provides road and railway inter-connectivity to the rest of southern Africa and other parts of Zambia. The railway line covers a total distance of 1,860km from Dar es Salaam to New Kapiri Mposhi.

TAZARA gets order to transport 48 million litres of fuel for Malawi

The Malawi Government has given an order to the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) to move 48 million litres of petroleum products in the next 12 months, starting from July 2016.

The order was communicated at a meeting between TAZARA and a delegation of 11 officials from the Malawi Government headed by the Mrs. Estelle Nuka, Board member of the Malawi Energy Regulation Authority.

Welcoming the delegation in Dar es Salaam on Monday 20 June 2016, Eng. Bruno Ching’andu, TAZARA Managing Director assured the Malawi delegation that with the new leadership, TAZARA had the best management team to compete with any in the world and was fully geared to take the firm to another level.

“Our shareholders have recently appointed me and my deputy, and between us we have vast engineering and business experience. Together with the rest of our Management, we have the best team that can compete with any in the world and are well prepared to handle the cargo you will be bringing to us,” Eng. Ching’andu said.

TAZARA is also in discussion with the Zambian Government and another private firm to begin transporting at least 14 million litres of fuel per month from the Port of Dar es Salaam to Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo within the month of July 2016.

Since joining TAZARA in April 2016, Eng. Ching’andu has instilled discipline in the railway operations, with the firm now registering consistent and shorter transit times in freight trains as well as passenger trains, an impediment that tended to drive clients away in the past.

The new Managing Director has also ordered his Management team to be customer-centric, giving maximum respect to the clients and being responsive to their needs.

ENDS.

ISSUED BY:
CONRAD SIMUCHILE, HEAD PUBLIC RELATIONS

TAZARA CEO lays out vision, says firm has everything it needs to make money

The Managing Director of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA), Eng. Bruno Ching’andu has laid out his vision to the employees, calling on every worker to be customer-centric in order to turn the Authority into the best transport organization in the region.

Speaking when he addressed over 500 Dar es Salaam based employees on Thursday 16 June 2016, in Dar es Salaam, Eng. Ching’andu said he wants to preside over a workforce that is proud to work for TAZARA, paid handsomely and competitively and operating in a safe environment, with plenty of opportunities to learn and grow.

“I dream of a TAZARA whose workers are proud and happy to be working for this company.

I want us to be customer-centric, giving maximum respect to our clients and contributing to the growth of the economies of Tanzania and Zambia by paying taxes and dividends to the shareholders,” he said.

The Managing Director challenged the workers to show commitment by giving him maximum support, working as a unified team with one common goal in order to eliminate the divisive tendencies that pulled the Authority backwards.

At the different forums he addressed the workers, the Managing Director made the employees shout in unison after him “One TAZARA, One TAZARA, One TAZARA”, a thematic orientation he has demanded every employee to adopt in order to foster unity in the organization.

Eng. Bruno Ching’andu has further urged employees to discard the begging mentality and begin to perform because the Authority has everything it requires to raise output and revenue generation.

He said he left a well-paying job in South Africa to join TAZARA because he knew it was possible to turn-around the Authority and begin to earn sustainable revenue, enough to pay employees’ salaries, taxes and dividends to the shareholders.

“This company has everything it needs to make money. The Chinese came, built the infrastructure and handed it to us to manage, some of them losing their lives in the process.

They gave us fishing rods and taught us how to fish, but immediately they left we also went back to sleep, threw away the fishing rods and started to beg for fish,” the Managing Director lamented with disgust.

He said he would not be part of the begging culture and neither would he want to manage beggars, urging every employee to stop asking for handouts and instead focus on being productive in order to earn their salaries.

The Managing Director said that as a step towards revitalisation, it was important to acknowledge that the current performance of TAZARA was a huge disappointment to the founders of TAZARA, who worked tirelessly to ensure the realization of a railway that connected Zambia to the Eastern Coast of Africa.

“You may argue about the timing of the funding and the quantities in which it was granted, but it is undisputable that a lot of money has been poured into TAZARA over the years by the governments of China, Tanzania and Zambia and everyone expects us to show appreciation by performing,” he said.

In response, the workers thanked the Managing Director for sharing his vision and promised to rally behind him, but requested that he decisively deals with incompetent and errant managers.

The workers also called for improved communication at all levels.

Eng. Ching’andu is in his second month at the helm of TAZARA, having taken up the position as the Authority’s Chief Executive Officer in April 2016.

He has since embarked on a tour of the infrastructure from Dar es Salaam to New Kapiri-Mposhi, meeting and addressing all employees to sell his vision and demand that the rededicate themselves to the turnaround of the firm, whose annual freight haulage has dropped from a high of 1.2 million tones in 1976 to less than 90,000 tones in the 2014/2015 Financial Year.

The Authority is expected to post improved haulage in the 2015/2016 Financial Year ending 30th June 2016.

Since joining, Eng. Ching’andu has instilled discipline in the railway operations, with the firm now registering consistent and shorter transit times in freight trains as well as passenger trains, an impediment that tended to drive clients away in the past.

ENDS.

SNCC, TAZARA meet customers, pledge to enhance services

Following the posting of improved service delivery by the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) and the National Railways Company of Congo (SNCC), the two railways have agreed to aggressively market their services to increase the volume of freight between the Port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The two railways met in Dar es Salaam on 13 June 2016 and also convened a meeting with Dar es Salaam based customers and other stakeholders on 14 June 2016 to deliberate on various aspects relating to railway services in Tanzania, Zambia and DRC.

Both TAZARA and SNCC announced that they had posted substantive improvements in their performances, with transit time between Lubumbashi and Dar es Salaam having been scaled down from over 40 days to less than 10 days in the recent past. TAZARA alone is moving cargo between Dar es Salaam and New Kapiri-Mposhi in 5 days, on average.

With reduced transit times reduced to such low levels, the incidences of theft of cargo had also been eliminated, it was announced.

These improvements have come as a result of changes of leadership in both railways as well as measures taken by the shareholding governments to stabilize and boost railway operations by injecting funds and equipment.

Both TAZARA and SNCC expressed regret that despite the abundant volumes of cargo being moved along the Dar es Salaam Transport Corridor covering DRC, Tanzania and Zambia, the railways’ share of less than 2% was unacceptably too low and resolved to collectively pursue strategies that would uplift freight haulage in the next few months.

The stakeholders noted the efforts that the railways were making to improve their services but also urged them to review their tariff rates because the railways were supposed to offer the cheaper mode of transportation compared to roads.

The stakeholders also urged the railways to streamline their operations in order to not only ensure that seamless services were offered to shippers in DRC, Zambia and Tanzania, but also to make wagons readily available to customers whenever required.

In this regard, the two railways pledged to pool their efforts together in allocating wagons and to address the co-ordination amongst the three railways, including Zambia Railways Limited.

The stakeholders that attended the meeting included the Dar es Salaam based Congolese Business Association, Zambia Cargo and Logistics Limited, Tanzania Shipping Agents Association, the Dar es Salaam Corridor Group Limited and the Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (TICTS).

The SNCC delegation was led by Mr. Romain Kabongo, the Commercial Director, whilst Mr. Bruno Ching’andu, the Managing Director of TAZARA, led the TAZARA contingent and chaired the meeting.

ENDS.

ISSUED BY:
CONRAD K SIMUCHILE
HEAD PUBLIC RELATIONS