Bus operators in landmark assembly deal

By ZBC Reporter

A private sector deal to assemble buses locally has been welcomed by government as a step in the right direction to improve the country’s mass public transport system.

Limited capacity to assemble buses locally has contributed to challenges facing the mass public transport system, with bus operators resorting to imports to plug the gap.

Spokesperson of the Zimbabwe Public Transport Organisation Kura Sibanda welcomed the deal as it will not only bring relief to travellers but will save foreign currency.

This is a welcome development that will not only create jobs but will make travelling easier at very low cost because for example we need at least 4000 buses operate an efficient mass public transport system,he said.

He also expalined how local public transport operators under the banner of Amalgamated Bus Industries have come together to localise the assembling of buses through a deal where they will import kits and utilise plants of local assemblers such as Quest and AVM Industries.

Bus operators who control at least 75 percent of the market have come together to form ABI which is going to import kits from Zhongtong in China where we used to import buses. Local assemblers will then assemble these buses on our behalf and our plan is to start next month,he added.

The deal which was signed this Wednesday has been described by the Minister Transport and Infrastructural Development Deputy Minister Honourable Mike Madiro as a game changer.

As Government, we welcome this initiative by private operators to assemble buses locally. The whole value chain will get a major boost in terms of increased opportunities, said Madiro.

Government is in the process of capacitating the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) to ease transport challenges and the latest deal is set to complement the goal of creating a modern and efficient mass public transport system.

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