Government has signed and issued a Statutory Instrument(SI) No. 7 of 2018 that makes it mandatory for all transporters of heavy and bulk cargo to transport a minimum of 30 percent by rail transport.
During the historic signing of the SI on 26th January, 2018,Transport and Communications Minister, Brian Mushimba said the SI will among other benefits preserve the road infrastructure.
Eng. Mushimba said the SI will further optimise the transport sector and promote the sustainability of the rail sub sector.
“Currently, the rail sub sector has a minute market share of 5% to 8% compared to road with 92% to 95% out of which only 2% is handled by Zambian transporters. The huge discrepancy in the performance has impacted negatively on the rail sub sector leading to decrease in revenue generated resulting in deferred maintenance of the permanent way and rolling stock as well as reduced rail transportation efficiency.” said Eng. Mushimba.
The Transport Minister said Government through his ministry will set up a Monitoring and Evaluation Team to monitor compliance.
Eng. Mushimba added that the team will work closely with other stakeholders such as the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), Zambia Weights and Measures Agency, Central Chamber of Mines and Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry to ensure that any transporter acting in defiance to the SI is brought to book.
Speaking at the same event, Zambia Railways Limited Board Chairperson, Lubinda Linyama said the SI will help in transforming Zambia Railways into a viable and competitive railway operator.
And Zambia Railways Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Musonda said the SI will help decongest the roads while increasing tonnage for the company.