ZSC Extends Olive Branch to Private Sector

Zambia Shippers Council (ZSC) has called on the private sector to invest in the construction of a railway line between Chingola and Kasumbalesa border post to enhance cross-border trade between Zambia and Congo DR.
ZSC chairperson Berry Mwango said in interview that there was booming business between Zambia, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo through Kasumbalesa Border Post and the construction of a railway line would be a viable business venture for the private sector.
"As reforms are being undertaken to improve business efficiency at Kasumbalesa Border Post we need to use railway transportation as one of the ways to improve facilities at the border. There is a lot of cargo moving from Chingola and Kasumbalesa," he said.
Mr Mwango said a lot of cargo which is destined for the DRC from Zambia and Tanzania which comes by rail is offloaded from Ndola where there is mechanism to handle cargo containers and then transported by road to Kasumbalesa Border Post via Chingola.
"There is a railway on the Congolese side of the border but what we need is a railway line from Chingola to Kasumbalesa so that the cargo from Zambia and Tanzania to the DRC can be efficiently transported. We have an old railway line from Sakania to Lubumbashi but it is neglected because of derailments due to poor maintenance," he said.
Mr Mwango said the shipper's council was happy with Government's effort to see to it that Kasumbalesa Border Post was opened for 24 hours every day.
He noticed that from the time the Government implemented border reforms the period drivers were spending to have their trucks cleared had reduced from five days to two days.
"If the number of working hours were increased and our survey shows that it is possible to have 70 trucks cleared within a period of two hours," he said.
Mr Mwango said as a way of improving the efficiency of transportation of cargo destined for DRC the Government should also consider making Nakonde border post which links Zambia and Tanzania to start operating on a 24 hour basis.
"A lot of borders in between East African countries and within the Southern Africa region were operating on 24 hours basis and we just have to do the same if we are to make our border efficient," he said.
Mr Mwango said working for eight hours every day was affecting the levels of efficiency on the borders.
He pointed out that once the border post operated 24 hours there will be more people working at the borders from shift to shift.
Mr Mwango said the shippers council which protects the interest of the owners of the cargo which was entering and leaving the country through the border was optimistic with the move to make Kasumbalesa Border Post operate 24 hours, because it would reduce the cost of doing business.
Hundreds of trucks enter and leave the DRC through Kasumbalesa Border Post on a daily basis.
Source : allafrica.com

Posted on : 30 Nov,-0001

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