By Martin Rushmere THE NATIONAL Railways of Zimbabwe has admitted officially for the first time that inefficiency has led to the need to hire thousands of wagons from other countries, mainly South Africa.
Foreign wagons now outnumber the 11 400 owned by NRZ. Many of the local wagons are derelict while others have been lying idle for more than two years.
The equivalent of R75 million is spent each year on foreign hire.
Railways general manager Alvord Mabena told the board of directors recently that wagon management structures must be strengthened and said the sluggish turnaround of wagons was causing the problem.
A maximum turnaround time of 16 days is allowed before penalties come into effect.
It is estimated that there are now at least 3000 South African wagons carrying Zimbabwean goods.