South African logistics group Transnet has bid to recapitalise National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) with $400-million, the State Procurement Board (SPB) said on Tuesday.
NRZ is saddled with a debt of $200-million and has gone for months without paying its workers as Zimbabwe experiences a serious dollar crunch and electricity shortages.
Transnet made the bid jointly with Diaspora Investment Group, a group of Zimbabwean investors living abroad, the SPB said at its offices in the capital Harare.
The board also said Malaysia’s SMH Railway has bid to spend $100.7-million to refurbish locomotives for NRZ, while the Zimbabwean operations of chartered accountants group Crowe Horwath International said it could secure funding of up to $2.5-billion for the state railway company.
In another bid, local firm Croyeaux said it would be able to organise $700-million in debt to recapitalise NRZ.
“Within the next coming ten days we should actually be able to come up with a recommendation as to who the winning bidder is,” NRZ chairperson Larry Mavhima told reporters after the opening of six bids.
“What we are looking for is an investment in NRZ, whether its in debt form or equity and its not about buying a certain number of locomotives only,” Mavhima said.