By Tichaona Kurewa
HARARE-NATIONAL Railways of Zimbabwe’s (NRZ) subsidiary Road Motor Services (RMS) is leasing about 10,000 square metres of cargo handling and storage space available at the Zimbabwe Dry Port Facility in the Port of Walvis Bay, Namibia.
The government of Namibia in September 2009 granted Zimbabwe 19,000 square metres of land to construct its own dry port to boost trade beyond the continent.
The project is being spearheaded by Road Motor Services (RMS) and US$1.5 million is required to complete the construction works.
RMS said the parastatal is inviting financial proposals from those interested in becoming lessees.
“Financial Proposal is hereby invited for the lease of approximately 10,000 square metres cargo handling and storage space available at the Zimbabwe Dry Port Facility in the Port of Walvis Bay, Namibia,” it said.
“The lease shall run for an initial period of two years, commencing from the date of lease agreement to a maximum of three years, subject to further negotiations for lease extension.”
Due to Zimbabwe’s position in the region, it depends on its neighbours both for transit and access to the seas. Traders have an option either to use the Trans-Kalahari or Trans-Caprivi Corridor, as a link to the Atlantic markets of Europe and the Americas. Located in the Port of Walvis Bay, to the South Western coast of Namibia, the dry port is the link to the Americas and the Western Europe through the Atlantic Ocean.
Trade for Zimbabwe via Walvis Bay has increased in recent years and a large volume of commodities are transported along this corridor.
Zimbabwe’s trade volumes through the Port of Walvis Bay had grown significantly to about 2,500 tonnes per month.
South Africa also uses Walvis Bay as an alternative to their Durban port and it has completed the construction of its dry port, which is already operational.
Zimbabwe and Namibia enjoy cordial relations with cooporations also in other areas such as education.