Billions needed to upgrade rail infrastructure

27 Apr 2017 15:10pm
WINDHOEK, 27 APR (NAMPA) – TransNamib’s acting Chief Executive Officer, Hippy Tjivikua has appealed to the private sector, the mining sector in particular, to assist in upgrading Namibia’s railway infrastructure.
Tjivikua made the appeal on Thursday when he spoke at the 2017 Mining Expo and Conference, which started in Windhoek on Wednesday.
The acting CEO addressed the conference about the topic ‘Rail infrastructure – transportation challenges for mining goods and inputs’.
He said N.dollars 15 billion is needed to upgrade the national rail infrastructure and an additional N.dollars 3 billion is necessary for rolling stock (locomotives, carriages, wagons, or other vehicles used on a railway).
“Funding is not available, hence my appeal to the private sector to come on board and assist through investing huge amounts of money,” Tjivikua said.
He noted that the parastatal’s locomotives have reached their lifespan. Six new locomotives bought from Brazil were delivered in January.
Mathew Amunghete from the Ministry of Mines and Energy who was in the audience, wanted to know if it is a good idea to use the new locomotives on infrastructure that needs urgent upgrading.
To this, Tjivikua replied that certain safety measures have been put in place in this regard.
He told Nampa the train accidents over the past few years could be partly attributed to the poor rail conditions. “If nothing is done, it will continue”.
The Mining Expo and Conference, organised by the Chamber of Mines of Namibia, ends Thursday.