HARARE – The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) wants to retrench 6 000 workers, about 86 percent of its workforce to cut running costs, a Cabinet minister has revealed.
However, the government will instead seek to raise $260 million to recapitalise the parastatal and avert the job losses.
“NRZ used to employ more than 25 000 people in Bulawayo and that employment sustained the activities of Bulawayo, but that number has gone down to 7 000,” Transport and Communication minister Obert Mpofu told a business meeting organised by a local media group.
“I received a request from the board to retrench another 6 000 to leave 1 000 and I said that was not sustainable.”
Mpofu said the government will instead seek to raise $260 million in the short to medium term to rehabilitate and service railroad network, signalling and communication equipment, adding that talks with potential investors had already started.
NRZ recently said it requires $2 billion over 10 years to rehabilitate all of its rail road network.
The parastatal has received $4 million from the government under the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) and started repairing some tracks.