Botswana Railways Hosts SARA Committee
On the 21st- 23rd March, 2018 Botswana Railways hosted a SARA Committee Meeting held at the Botswana Railways Railpark Offices. The committee deliberated on important SADC Region Railway issues.
When welcoming the guests Botswana Railways Chief Executive Officer Mr. Leonard M. Makwinja noted that SARA is a pivotal body in our business as it provides the SADC Railways with a strong lobbying association to pursue advocacy for fair surface transport competition.
The SARA committee meeting is the first step in preparations for the SARA Board meetings which take place twice a year, the first meeting will be held in June 2018 and the second one in November 2018.The meeting consists of specialized committees which focus on business activities such as Business Management, Technical and Engineering Committee, Risk and Safety Management Committee and the Information, Communications and Technology (I.C.T) Committee all of which had a representative form Botswana Railways.
These Committees come up with proposals which are intended to progress regional integration and the corridor traffic management. The main effort is to consider the best ways to move the region forward in a way that benefits every country that is represented, particularly in terms of international traffic both Freight and passenger.
“We come up with recommendations which then go to the executive committee of SARA and if approved go to the board” noted the Head of the Committees Mr. Centre Babe Botana.He added that they market and lobby their different Governments in the different SADC Countries in order for them to increase the regional market share. “The SARA Committee has set itself a target of achieving 40% Rail Market Share by the year 2022. Currently we are low but we have seen positive developments in the region such as the Statutory Instrument of Zambia legislated in January this year which suggests that at most 30% of the bulk cargo should be moved by rail and are lobbying other countries to do the same.” He concluded.
These committees consists of representatives from SADC Countries, that is Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimababwe,Swaziland, Mozambique,Drc as well as Tanzania.