CONSTRUCTION of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) has directly employed 800 people, with more jobs unfolding as the project proceeds. Reli Assets Holding Company (RAHCO) acting Managing Director Masanja Kadogosa, speaking at the project site on Sunday night, said more jobs were coming.
"More jobs will be created as the project continues... as for now, we have already employed 808 people," he said, advising job seekers at the project to remain patient as more job opportunities open up.
Mr Kadogosa made surprise visits to SGR construction sites to check the work progress. He assured that the project would require more workers with different skills to perform various tasks, citing civil works, which constitute 60 per cent of the entire project, electrification and signal engineering.
"Currently, the major works are civil, including designing, building culverts and bridges," he said, adding that all the stages require people of different skills. Upon completion, the mega project will have created over 600,000 jobs.
Mr Kadogosa visited the sites as per directives by Works, Transport and Communication Minister Professor Makame Mbarawa to RAHCO to ensure the SGR project is executed speedily. "The minister visited the construction sites last month and among other directives, demanded speedy construction of the project," he said.
Following the directives, the project contractors are now working 24 hours. Mr Kadogosa said that the contractor had opened more working sites, with more sites still coming up to speed up the work. He directed the project contractor to take stern disciplinary measures, including dismissal, against irresponsible and dishonesty workers.
He said RAHCO has information about some workers taking bribes in exchange for work. "We have already suspended and arrested some of the suspects and investigation is on progress," said Mr Kadogosa, directing the contractor to flush out the dirty elements in the project.
Railway Protection Force's Commissioner of Operations, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Zuhura Jongo warned the project workers against vandalising the railway infrastructure, threatening tough legal measures against the perpetrators.
She asked members of the public to guard the project and report any thieving act to the police. Meanwhile, a world class railways construction firm, Yapi Markezi, has promised to make Tanzania a model in the African railway network transformation through modernisation of the country's railway network to standard gauge.
The company has also expressed its readiness to complete the country's pioneering second phase SGR stretch from Moro goro to Makutupora in Dodoma on time. Speaking in Dar es Salaam recently, the company's Vice- President, Mr Erdem Arioglu, said construction of the 400-kilometre stretch will revolutionise Tanzania's transport sector.
"I'm glad that my company becomes part of Tanzania's historic achievement in the transport sector and one of the pioneering standard gauge projects in Africa," he explained.
Turkish-based Yapi Merkezi won the tender to construct the 300-kilometre stretch of the central corridor SGR from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro and the 400 kilometres to Makutupora. Mr Arioglu said the project was among the biggest projects in the region and South of the Sahara.
The third phase project will start from Makutupora to Tabora, with the fourth phase covering the Tabora-Mwanza stretch. Professor Mbarawa was recently quoted as saying completion of all four phases will among others reduce freight charges and stimulate economic growth.
"Transporters will have the choice to either use the railway or road transport," he said, noting that the government is committed to create conducive ground for doing business.