Angola considers privatisation of the three national railways

23 March 2018

The Angolan Government is considering the possibility of partially privatising the country’s three national railways, preferably to international or regional partners, especially in South Africa, who have the financial and technical capacity to ensure the future management of the companies, the Africa Monitor Intelligence newsletter reported.

Africa Monitor noted that the huge operating deficits that the three railways are experiencing, with insufficient income to pay wages, and the financial obligations arising from investment in rehabilitation and acquisition of rolling stock are considered a very heavy burden for the government.

Previously, the Angolan Government intended to deliver the management of the roads by direct sale to consortiums set up as PPP (public private partnerships).

The department reported that the permanent operating losses suffered by the three railways are due to their low operating rates following their rehabilitation and refitting, which represented a total investment of US$3.5 billion.

Africa Monitor also pointed out that the irregular or infrequent movement of trains on the three lines is a result of structural factors and, in particular, the technical problems involved in the design and construction of roads, a shortage of specialised staff in the monitoring of work, and inadequate or poor quality of rolling stock.

The Luanda railway line was built by the China Railway International Group and cost US$600 million, the Benguela railway line cost US$1.8 billion and was built by the China Railway 20 Bureau Group Corporation (CR20) and the Moçamedes railway line, built by Chinese company China Hiway cost US$200 million. (macauhub)