Full TransNamib executive team travels the South to inspect Ariamsvlei – Lüderitz operations
The train that served the fancy Desert Express tourist route between Windhoek and Swakopmund, was repurposed this week for the TransNamib executive team to familiarise themselves with operations and opportunities on the southern line from Ariamsvlei to Lüderitz.
TransNamib Chief Executive, Johny Smith said he has not had a full executive team for the two years since he joined the national transport parastatal so it is imperative that they travel together for a mobile workshop to see first-hand the company’s operations.
The rolling strategic workshop covers a four-day period from 13 to 16 May. En route to the south, the executive team stopped at Mariental, Keetmashoop and Aus, meeting the resident TransNamib staff while discussing means to continue the implementation of the company’s Integrated Strategic Business Plan. Returning TransNamib to profitability hinges on the successful implementation of this rescue plan.
“It is not only important that we come together as a team and formulate strategies to push TransNamib forward but these executives also need to visit sites and see our operations at ground level to fully grasp the challenges that we are facing, and those challenges are many. Unfortunately, time is not on our side and therefore it is a high priority to see how we must amend our strategy to fast track the implementation of the business plan,” said Smith.
The company is bargaining on the contribution of the line between Keetmanshoop and Lüderitz which has been out of service for 18 years until the line was rebuilt and recommissioned early last year. This project was delayed by about four years adding to the parastatal’s worries of having important parts of its vast infrastructure out of service.
Over the past year, this line has proven its worth. TransNamib now moves about 15,000 tonnes of manganese per month from South Africa’s Northern Cape Province through the border post at Ariamsvlei and from there onward all the way to the harbour at Lüderitz. These volumes are expected to increase to 30,000 tonnes per month in the near future.
“The route [the team] travelled has become a major revenue source for TransNamib in terms of moving manganese for our customers and the executives need to see first-hand the operations and challenges on the route,” said Smith.
Commenting on the economic damage done by the lockdown, Smith said it had a tremendous impact on their revenue streams. The company lost 50% of its revenue in just five weeks while it kept all its staff fully employed.
Nevertheless, Smith gave the assurance that all lockdown restrictions are complied with.