Dar es Salaam — The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) has projected to generate $45.71 million (Sh106.53 billion) from its operational and non-operational income sources to cover the Authority's operations for the 2021/22 financial year.
The total projected revenue from both freight and passenger services are $36.03 million (Sh83.97 billion), whilst $9.67 million (Sh22.53 billion) is expected from other non-traffic revenues, including revenue from open access operations.
To meet the target, the transporter should transport at least 450,000 metric tons of freight traffic and 3,400,000 passengers during the 2021/22 financial year.
The targets were approved by the Tazara's board of directors during the 116th Board Meeting on April 28, 2021, comprising the Permanent Secretaries responsible for Transport in the Republic of Zambia and the United Republic of Tanzania, together with four other Board Members from both countries.
"The total operating expenditure projected in this budget period shall amount to $45.71 million," the board has approved.
Tazara must transport at least 600,000 tonnes of freight traffic yearly to start making profit.
For years, the transporter has been unable to pay salaries as it has not been making profits despite the fact that there have been some improvements
A performance review for the first-half of the 2020/21 financial year shows that the transporter increased the freight traffic by 19 percent compared to the previous first half of the 2019/20 financial year.
Despite a global economic slump due to the Covid-19 pandemic, freight traffic volumes for the July-December 2020 increased from 88,356 tonnes compared to 105,222 tonnes recorded in the first half of 2019.
"With the addition of 127,259 tonnes moved by Calabash Freight Ltd, through Open Access operations, the total line capacity utilization for the first half-aggregated to 232,481 tonnes, up by 19.4 percent compared to the combined volume of 194,726 tonnes recorded in the previous FY's first-half," Tazara's report shows.
On the other hand, Tazara's board of directors says with the Covid-19 pandemic still generally limiting the movement of people globally and as a result overall passenger traffic for the first-half of 2020/21 declined by 4.3 percent.
The overall passenger traffic dropped from 1,544,068 passengers recorded in the previous half year report to 1,478,032 in the first-half of the 2020/21 fiscal year.
"The overall revenue earnings, however, increased by 19.4 percent to $14.88 million, compared to $12.56 million that was generated in the first half of the 2019/20 financial year," the board meeting revealed.
In another development, the board said the Tazara Council of Ministers would soon meet to make a decision on the proposed Revitalization Bankable Business Plan.