TransNamib plans resumption of passenger service, signs hotel management deal

TransNamib is set to resume its rail passenger service which was suspended nearly two years ago due to obsolete and insufficient locomotives, rolling stock and unreliable railway lines.

The national rail operator said it will leverage the iconic Swakopmund four-star hotel, which it now owns after buying 50% shares from previous partner South African, Stocks & Stocks Leisure, for over N$100 million, to boost the rail passenger service.

“In the short-term, we will start offering holiday train transport services especially with our luxurious Dessert Express, which stopped operation sometime in April 2020, as Covid-19 was on its highest pick. We stopped passenger services, as you may recall the railway washed away and that happened in the South, that was further exacerbated by lack of locomotives and aging rolling stock. Surely, we are considering reinstating that service soon,” TransNamib CEO Johnny Smith said.

This comes as the company revealed that it had signed a new management agreement with Legacy Hospitality to manage the hotel for the next 10 years.

“We are working on a business strategy to revive the hotel and make it sustainable in the next 3 to 5 years. The strategy will be implemented with the N$150 million invested by the government. With the acquisition of the hotel to make it 100% TransNamib, we managed to save 166 jobs,” TransNamib board Chairperson Lionel Mathews said.

The rail operator this week revealed that it is incurring a N$10 million monthly loss due to delays in securing funding for its Integrated Strategic Business Plan (ISBP), which was coined in 2018 with the aim of turning around the financial fortunes of the rail operator into a profitable entity.

TransNamib was among 10 public enterprises which were earmarked to receive N$746.8 million in total as a government subsidy for the 2022/23 financial year, with an allocation of N$175 million.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 03 August 2022 18:21

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