BCL closure presses BR's freight volumes to decade low


A drop in freight volumes, owing largely to the closure of BCL and Tati Nickel mines, contributed to a 13% drop in goods revenues at Botswana Railways to P280.7 million in 2017.

Statistics Botswana figures published on Tuesday indicate that last year’s revenues were the lowest since 2012, when the rail carrier posted top line earnings of P293 million. 

The reduced revenue last year was due to a 25% drop in tonnes moved, which were pegged at 1.5 million tonnes by the end of December. The tonnes moved, which encompass local freight, transit, imports and exports, represent the lowest recorded by Botswana Railways in the last ten years. 

From an average of about 514,000 tonnes moved per quarter in 2016, freight volumes at Botswana Railways fell to an average of 386,000 tonnes per quarter in 2017.

The drop appears attributable to the October 2016 closure of BCL and Tati Nickel mines, which were among the major tonnage and revenue anchors for Botswana Railways.

Editor's Comment
Let's Get Serious With BMC

We have heard of so many disturbing stories about the commission. How do some of its leaders put their interests before those of the organisation? How broke is the BMC? We have now reached an all-time low. How does a whole BMC run for five months without a chief executive officer (CEO)?Why would the assistant minister be at pains of answering a simple question of why is BMC without at least an acting CEO? Why can't she tell us what they are...

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