Last week, the Minister of Road and Transport, Nonofho Molefhe, hailed the partnering of African Energy Resources and Botswana Railways in their first trial for a coal wagon from Sese to Maputo, Mozambique, saying that such a move is a welcome development which will enhance economic growth in the country.
The trial run of the wagon marked the first transportation of coal on the Botswana-Zimbabwe-Mozambique corridor, which is also known as the Francistown-Bulawayo-Chicualacuala route.
The route, which has been used by Botswana to transport fuel, will add coal as the second commodity.
Giving a keynote address during the official event in Francistown, the Minister said that the initiative will present many opportunities for Botswana and will increase mineral revenue for the country.
“Botswana has an abundance of minerals, therefore it would be a waste if we do not exploit minerals like coal for the benefit of the economy,” he said.
Molefhi also said that coal exportation through the railway line will also present opportunities to other companies and organizations that would be interested in using Botswana Railways services.
He added that since Botswana is not an industrialized economy, it is important for the country to utilize its mineral resources to enrich its economy.
“This initiative will also present more opportunities for citizens as there will be more job creation,” he added.
Molefhe advised the Botswana Railways to service its wagons to avoid breakdowns, and to embark on efficiency and to focus on good service delivery in order to compete with other companies.
He said that his ministry will continue its cordial relationship with the mining industry and will keep a vigilant eye on the Botswana Railways to make sure that the goals of the initiative are achieved.