MINUTES OF THE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE (BMC) MEETING HAELD IN WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA ON 12 MAY 2009

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MINUTES OF THE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
(BMC) MEETING HAELD IN WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA ON 12 MAY
2009


1.

PRELIMINARIES


1.1


WELCOME ADDRESS


The Acting Chief Executive of TransNamib Mr. Mike Kave
ko
tora
welcomed all present to Windhoek and TransNamib in particu
lar.
In his opening remarks Mr. Kave
ko
tora observed that railways are
important for economic development but have not been accorded

the
prominence they deserve.

He further observed that SARA was
formed in terms of the SADC Protocol
on Transport,
Communicat
ions and Meteorology
and as such was
ex
pected to
play a catalytic role
i
n regional railway issues.
Mr. Kave
ko
tora
reaffirmed his organisation’s commitment to SARA.
He then
wished the meeting constructive and productive deliberations and a
good stay in Nami
bia.



1.2


PRESENT

AND APOLOGIES


PRESENT


Botswana Railways


Mr E.S. Chida: Chairing


CFB


Mr. O. Cumandala


National Railways of Zimbabwe


Mr. M. Banana


Swaziland Railway


Mr S.Z. Ngubane




Ms N. Dlamini



Mr.
K
. Mnisi




TransNamib




Mr. N.T.
Uunona


APOLOGIES:




BBR


The meeting observed that apologies should be at organisational
level.


1.3


ADOPTION OF AGENDA


The agenda was adopted following SR’s proposal and NRZ’s
secondment.



2.

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF THE BMC
COMMITTEE MEETING HELD
IN MAPUTO,
MOZAMBIQUE ON 1
ST

OCTOBER 2008


The minutes were adopted with minor amendments as follows;

Page 1, 1.2 paragraph 1 1
st

sentence replace “send” with “sent”.


3.

MATTERS ARISING


3.1

Supply of Information to the Secretariat


The meeting raised concern th
at this issue has been on the agenda
for a very long time and had been
deliberated on at

all levels of
SARA structures.

It was highlighted that information was
important for;


i)

Lobbying

ii)

Performance measurement and benchmarking

iii)

Investment/funding decisions.

It was observed that information is important for pushing forward
the SARA agenda and
as such
there was need to allocate time and
resources to the supply of information and other SARA issues in
general.

It was further observed that without the information
the
SARA Secretariat is not empowered to effectively lobby
for
railway

issues.

The meeting agreed that EXCO members were
responsible for this activity item.

In this regard the meeting agreed
that the Executive Director would write to EXCO members
copying t
o Chief Executives

reminding them of their responsibility
to ensure that information is supplied to SARA
.


3.2

Regional Railway Corridor Performance Analysis


The meeting noted that a comprehensive analysis could not be
done as some corridor member railways w
ere not supplying
the
required
information.

Based on the information supplied, the
partial analysis revealed that members were not meeting the agreed
benchmarks in terms of distance covered by train per day

and

detention at borders.
Differences in operatin
g philosophies were
highlighted as one of the contributory factors to the failure to meet
targets.
The meeting agreed to maintain existing benchmarks as
they were achievable and
emphasised
the need to
identify
bottlenecks and
engag
ing

relevant stakeholders

like Customs in
resolving the
m

at country level
.



The meeting indicated that they would like to have an update on
the use of roller and plain bearings from the Technology
Committee during the plenary session.


3.3

Align RA Strategies with Corridor Cross
-
Bord
er
Business Plan


It was observed that meetings at regional level (CMGs) were not
taking place as per agreed frequency. In this regard, t
he meeting
emphasised the need to cooperate at regional level

in order for the
railways to be able to offer seamless se
rvices.

The meeting
observed that business opportunities were lost
to road
due to lack
of cooperation among railways.


The meeting resolved that;

i)

CMGs should make an effort to meet.

All committees should
have met and submitted their reports/minutes bef
ore the next
meeting.

ii)

Railways should continue to meet at bilateral level and their
discussions be guided by the agreed corridor agenda.

iii)

Reports or minutes of the meetings should be submitted to the
Secretariat.

iv)

Corridors should be marketed in th
eir entirety
.

v)

Corridors that are not meeting should be identified and the
concerned EXCO members deal with their respective
corridors.

vi)

CMGs be given dates by which they should meet.


4.

SUPPLY OF INFORMATION


The meeting observed that although the SARA Consti
tution was in place,
there was need to develop rules and regulations enforce compliance by
all members.

This activity would be guided by the SARA Board
resolution of November 2008.


5.

REGIONAL RAILWAY CORRIDOR PERFORMANCE
ANALYSIS


The meeting adopted the re
port (Annexure 1) which was presented by the
task team after making the following observations;


i)

The 48 hour benchmark for giving quotations was too long
considering the new business environment and competition from
road.

This in future needs to be reviewe
d downwards.


ii)

Members were meeting this target where internal quotations
are
involved.


iii)

Members were not meeting this target in cases where other
railways
were

involved

in completing the quotation
.


iv)

Each railway must review their own internal systems for t
hem to
be able to comply with the benchmark both internally and
externally.


v)

The benchmark should be reviewed/revised at the next meeting.


It was indicated that members would continue to report (supply
information) in the same manner on their specific cor
ridors. Members
should also

reconcile their submissions at their CMG meetings

to ensure
that information submitted is uniform
. The Chairman thanked the task
team for the good work.



6.

ALIGN RA STRATEGIES WITH CORRIDOR CROSS
-
BORDER BUSINESS PLAN


It was obse
rved that CMGs were enshrined in the SADC Protocol on
Transport, Communications and Meteorology (Article 7.8)
. The meeting
noted that the multilateral meeting/workshop that had been sanctioned by
the SARA Board in terms of Resolution 11 of November 2008 ha
d not
taken place. In this regard, the meeting agreed on the need to define the
scope of the workshop (to include CMG issues among others) and
identify a member to host same

in July 2009
. The meeting recommended
that a task team comprising representatives
from the three SARA
committees be formed to progress the matter.


7.

OVERLOADING CONTROL, COST RECOVERY AND
FUEL LEVY


7.1

Botswana Railways


BR indicated that there were four (4) road weighbridges
with
cameras
installed at strategic points in Botswana to take ca
re of
major traffic flows in the country.


Regarding the fuel levy, BR indicated that they had in the past
been exempted but now are expected to pay.

BR had since
submitted a claim to Government for a refund for they were
awaiting a response.
BR further a
dvised that Botswana was in the
process of developing and
I
ntegrated

Transport Policy which they
hoped would address the roles of all players in the transport
industry.




7.2

National Railways of Zimbabwe


The meeting was advised that NRZ had resuscitated its

weighbridge in Harare after realising that overloading was
prevalent especially with respect to granite. The meeting was
further advised that the resuscitating of the weighbridge in the
Midlands was under consideration.



With regards cost recovery, NRZ i
ndicated that Zimbabwe had
gazetted tolling fees for roads but implementation had not been
effected.


NRZ informed the meeting that they were paying both customs
import duty
and road levy
on fuel
. The issue is however

being
actively attended and NRZ had in

this
regard
written to the
government.


7.3

Swaziland Railway


SR informed

the meeting that there were no weighbridges in
Swaziland and therefore no overloading controls.


Regarding the fuel levy, the meeting was advised that SR is
exempted and were realisin
g savings
of twenty
-
eight (28) cents per
litre
amounting to E1.2million

per year
.


SR indicated that a
bill
on tolling of roads had been passed
almost
2 years
ago

in Swaziland but has not been implemented to date.



8.

FRAMEWORK FOR RESOURCE SHARING


A number

of observations were made regarding the proposed
resource sharing framework;


i)

C
harges raised on hired resources often frustrated the
implementation of the framework resulting in an overall
negative impact on railway business

in terms of capacity
availa
bility and increased tariffs

as the charges are passed on
to customers
.


ii)

Pooling

of resources would result in the reduction in the
overall costs through synergies

and therefore there was need
to come up with an equitable way of charging each other
opposed
to taking advantage of others’ predicament
.


iii)

Some members were using others’ resources internally and
send them back when they are due for maintenance.


iv)

That there is need to find out how the charges are
determined in other places like Europe or United Sta
tes
America

and document the effect of this unjustified
profiteering
.


v)

A regional rate or at least a range for the charges on
different classes of equipment should be established to guide
members when charging each other. To this end the meeting
agreed tha
t the issue will be discussed at the upcoming
Corridors W
orkshop scheduled for July.


9.

REGIONAL RAILWAYS PREPAREDNESS FOR 2010
WORLD CUP


The meeting observed that participation of railways during the
2010 world cup was possible for those members offering p
assenger
services especially the safari trains. The following members
indicated their positions;


Botswana Railways


The meeting was advised that BR had terminated its passenger
services with effect from April and therefore were not able to
contribute towa
rds the world cup.

It was however indicated that
BR would continue to facilitate the movement of Rovos Safari
Train through their network.


National Railways of Zimbabwe


NRZ indicated that they were sprucing up their existing safari train
and would also c
ontinue to facilitate movement of safari trains
through their network including Rovos.


TransNamib


TransNamib indicated that they were going to introduce a tourist
train between Walvis Bay and Cape Town.


10.

REVIEW OF THE WORKPLAN


The Committee reviewed its

work plan as indicated in Annexure 4.



11.

PLENARY ISSUES


-

Update on the usage of plain and roller bearings.

-

Strategies to address communication problems (from BMC Work
Plan).

-

Setting dates for CMG meetings.

-

Hosting of multilateral workshop

and task
team to deal with
structure of the workshop
.

-

Costing of resources shared.

-

Decide where
Safety
will be housed
; BMC or TC

or both.