Interview with C0ark Parr Ministry of Transport
Mr. Chasi Government of Zimbabwe
28 April 1982 Harare
The traditional porteaor Zimbabwean exports xt are MozambiquBan,
as it was not until the mid 1970's that South Africa carried even half
of Zxkx then Rhodesia's international exports. In 1972, 75% of all
outside traffic from Rhodesia went via Mozambiqufwhile only 25% went
to South Africa. Much of the latter represented internal trade rather
than goods for re-export. In October 1974, the Retenga Beitbrigge
rail line ax was xx1mztat completewhich, in addition to the existing
route via Botswana and Mafeking, provided Rhodesia with two links with
0outh Africa. In March 1976, the border with Molzambique was c&aesd,
which had devastating effects far on Mozambique's ability to earn foreign
exchange. Currently, the; change in transport links between Zimbabwe
and the international community, which the continued struggle for Zimbabwe
made necessary, attRxm I KxixizxhKxEkhikkklxxtx mtkxArzx
xmax&atxtxiKxJDtaxxZMkX have begun to shift away from total dependence
upon South AFrica. From June to December of 1981, 53.2% of Zimbabwe's
international exports were routed through Mozambique, while the remainder
wre sent via South A rica. These figures exclude, of course, bilateral
trade between xouth Africa and Zimbabwe.
SARRBSAS LOcomotive withdraw.
For many years, the Zimbabwean Railroads and the South African Railroads
had entered into an agreement by which the South Africans rented or
leased a number of locomotives to the Zimbabweans. This agreement had
been initiated by the Rhodesians in an effort to increase the flow of
exports through South Africa and was renewable only on a six month basis
,'TSeveral months before the final termination of the agreementiTe South
Africans informed the Zimbawean Railroads that they w&uld be withdrawling
the a reement h
he major a vantage or the Zimbabweans was that they were not burdened
with the maintainence of any of the locomotives. 25Twenty five South
African locomotives were on hand at all times, and each one returned
to South Africa each month for an overhaul. Thus, recently maintained
locomotives were always available to the Zimbaweans.
Although theZimbabweans did have sufficient warning, the termination
of the agreement did cause some hardship. Demand for rail transport
had been increasing steadily since independence and kk~rcxxtmn KKKxx
when coupled with one of the largest maize crops in the history of
the country, the strain on the rail network in Zimbabwe was enormous.
In spite of the withdraw, however, xi2txkxxxixHzHxkx8x in June 19821,
Zimbabwe broke all of : previouss record for the amount of tonnes
carried. (!t ean Rhodesaan Ralwvays '
In order to continue to meet theincreased demand for rail transport,
the Zimbabwean railroads have embarked on a major investment program,
both in new equipment and refurbishing older equipment. The railroads
have already purchased twenty fiv3Q9 lomotives rafx=ixtrxaMtxMax xtaxa
xlthx~ x :tkxaB iaxxixxxazrtx carth American and have another 36 on
order. Additional electric locomotives from western Europe have been
ordered to serve the Harare Gwello line when it is completely electtffied
later this year. The electric locomotives will all be assembled in
ordered to serve the Harare Gweru line when it is completely electrified
later this year. The electric locomotives will all be assembled in B
Steam locomotives have also long played a major role in rail trans-
port in Zimbabwe, and they will continue to do so. The tkf useful
life of eighty seven will be extended to 1995 xakx once the scheduled
rebuilding is completed. The refurbishing, like the assembly of the
electric locomotives from Europe, will be completed by x private firms
in Bulawayo which already produce all of Zimbabwe's rolling stock.
The steam locomotives will continue to be used primarily on the Butlawayo-
Victoria Falls line due to the abundant supply of coal in that area.
One of the major constraints facing the railroads in Zimbabwe is
the degree to which it has lost expertise in the field of manpower
Ax number of factors contribute to this, including both normal re;rementt
age and wage restraints in Zimbabwe, as well as emigration. In order
to offset this in the immediate future, technicians and artisans from
India with steam and diesel experience are serving on a contract basis.
The long term solution to this shortage will lie with a great increase
in the training of Zimbabweans in technical fields.
to Malawi-- to go to Malawi from Zimbabwe vis rail, one must firt
travel via Mutari to Dondo in Mozambique, just outside of Beira. Then
head back up the track to Malawi. The road is not very good, and road
transport is much more efficient.
Beira Port-- the route from Harari to Beira is one of the most
expensive in southern Africa to operate Bue to the steep gradiants.
In addition, the security situation in the TETE province of Mozambique
had not encouraged shippers to use the Dort. en thou h the~e Irh )l
bridge has been re-pairedl )the minor damage the\
(foll6owing-t-e" most recent attack.
The nature of the traffic which does use this route has changed
dramatically since the closure of the border in 1976. Prior th that
time, maize, chrome or, tea, coffee, and wat1fs made bp the bulk of
the freight that passed from Zimbabwe to Beira. Currently, Apss bulky
and more valuable exports utilize this route, including asbestos, cotton, and
refined chrome, with maize, tobacco, and coal playing a much smaller role.
The major col:_expoarsarI(to Mozambique which uses zzat steam locomotives
(via this rout-e
between Murari and Beira.
Passenger service fell off dramatically during the war, however, it has sh*A
a dramatic increase since then, in 1980, 800,000 passenger miles; 1981,
1.5 million passenger miles; 1982, 2.0 million. The capacity of the
road iL 3-4 million. Major drawback is lack of speed, advantage is low cost
ROLLING STOCK- Zimb. produces it for its neighbors, exp. Zambia and Moz. wants
Comparative size; SARR has 188,000 wagons NRZ has 11,000