Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Friday received a grant of 100 buses from the Chinese government to strengthen passenger transport in various parts of the country.
The buses, of the Yutong brand, can carry 90 passengers, seated and standing, and are equipped with state-of-the-art technology. The buses come with spare parts and accessories and a training course for Mozambican drivers and mechanics.
Addressing a crowd in the Maputo neighbourhood of Magoanine, where the ceremony was held, Nyusi said these buses are part of "Plan 1000", launched by the government in May 2018, which envisages acquiring 1,000 buses to be distributed across the country in the current five year period.
"The 100 we are receiving today was an offer from the Chinese government", he said. "In receiving these vehicles, we are once again appealing to the passengers, and to all those who use these buses, to treat them well so that they last a long time".
The Chinese ambassador, Su Jiang, said the donation is the result of "the excellent relations of friendship and cooperation" between the two countries.
"We know that improving the conditions of public transport is a priority for the Mozambican government", he said. "In recent years, to honour the government's programme and the unceasing effort of the Mozambican government, China has donated 152 buses to Mozambique",
"Today we see that Yutong buses are serving the public on the streets and avenues of Maputo, Matola, Beira and elsewhere", said the ambassador.
Transport Minister Carlos Mesquita said the new buses "represent some of the structural measures that the transport sector has been undertaking in close coordination with the municipal councils, with private operators and with other partners, seeking to ensure greater efficiency, comfort and safety in urban passenger transport in all the cities and towns of the country".
According to Mesquita, "Plan 1000" will make it possible to meet 90 per cent of the demand for passenger transport in the Greater Maputo Metropolitan Area, equivalent to 550,000 passengers a day. This compares with the capacity of only 60,000 passengers a day in 2015, at the start of the current government's term of office.