CEO’s Remarks 2021
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Greetings to you all readers. It is my first time on this platform and I am looking forward to many more interactions. I arrived at ESR in March 2020 during the height of the first lockdown, the time of the COVID-19 Pandemic when the whole world was going through a rough period of an unprecedented global health crisis. When I arrived, I could not imagine that the railways would be resilient through this over a year health disaster. Through dedication of our staff, support from customers and partner organizations we are still on our two feet, we did not layoff or reduce salaries of any staff members. The parastatal has shown that it has a future, and that future is bright.

The railways sadly suffered two casualties as a result of the pandemic so far, the country has lost hundreds, may their souls rest in peace. We are hopeful that as we continue undertaking all preventative precautions to avoid the spread of the virus, its effects will be reduced.

The 2020/2021 financial year that just ended in April 2021 shows that the organization performed 85% towards budgeted volumes. We are encouraged that despite all the catastrophic economic environment of the 2020/21 financial year, ESR was just only 15% short towards meeting budget. We are however cautious since the health problems are still in our midst, we are not out of the woods yet and we need to continue working hard and smart.

Our Strategic Plan has three pillars, Diversification, Systems Integration and Stakeholder Management. We are currently in the middle of implementation of this plan. All three key components are ongoing, and I want to single out projects under diversification that are already underway.

    1. We are in the process of developing our warehousing
      portfolio and our warehouse in Matsapha has already been
      renovated and will be leased out; with more on the pipeline in
      this area.
    2. The expansion of the Matsapha Inland Clearance Depot (ICD) is ongoing though volumes of containerized cargo have been greatly affected with the changes in the secondhand cars’ imports.
    3. The development of the Mpaka ICD is underway and should be finished by the end of 2021. This will act as a strategic depot for all rail friendly cargo originating from the East of Eswatini. It will assist in cutting down of distance for cargo to be ferried by road to the Matsapha facility before being loaded on the train.

The ESRL Project is entering the resettlement phase and we are thankful to the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini for making funds available for this process to start. We have consulted with Traditional Leaders of the affected communities and Resettlement Task Teams to inform them of the latest developments and our plans. The wheel is turning, and we will see real movement this winter.

I thank you for taking your time to read my brief remarks, I am confident that we will be conversing again soon in the next edition and all of us will be safe and well. Regards

The Eswatini Rail Link Project is a Strategic Joint Inter-Railway Initiative between the two State Owned railway entities of Republic of South Africa and the Kingdom of Eswatini that will provide a strategic rail link for both countries with the two major East Coast ports of Richards Bay and Maputo.

The project will promote intra African trade and the integration of the Region’s freight logistics, stimulate and be a catalyst for economic development and job creation as well as contribute to a modal shift from road to Rail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eswatini Railways (ESR) has received adequate financing towards the implementation of the first phase of the Resettlement of Project Affected Households, fields and forests, affected by the Eswatini Rail Link Project in the following Chiefdoms.

Mabhukwini, Kuthuleni, Zenukeni, Zondwako, Mlindazwe, Mbangave, Mhlangeni, Nhlulweni, Ncabaneni, Luyengo/Khalangilile, Ntondozi, Ndinda, Mphini and Ndlinilembi.

Eswatini Railways is continuing with stakeholder engagement initiatives of all the important various stakeholders and Project Affected People (PAPs). Land acquisition for resettlement purposes is also being undertaken. Physical resettlement will begin this financial year 2021/22 Eswatini Railways wishes to take this opportunity to thank Chiefs (boBabe Tikhulu) neBantfwabenkosi, of the project affected areas for identifying and allocating alternative land for the resettlement of the affected persons.

Eswatini Railways also wishes to thank all Project Stakeholders for their anticipated cooperation as it undertakes this Strategic National and Regional Project Eswatini Railways looks forward to the successful implementation of this Strategic National and Regional Project.

Railways Safety Begins with Me. Eswatini Railways is today launching the railway safety week at Mpaka. As an organisation ESR values the life and safety of our staff, customers and communities that we interact with. In the time of COVID – 19 ESR says be safe.

ESR CEO, Mr Nixon Dlamini paying a courtesy visit to the Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority offices where he was welcomed by the EIPA CEO, Mr Sibane Mngomezulu. EIPA is crucial in the investment drive and ESR provides infrastructure to support the initiatives.

A Joint meeting of ESR & SAs TFR CEOs to discuss progress on the Eswatini Rail Link Project at the Royal Villas was honoured by the presence of the Honourable MoPW&T, ESR Board Chair & the Media. The Minister came to show government’s commitment to the project.

ESR Board of Directors taken by the CEO and EXCO on a familiarization tour of the ESR operation. This is done to ensure that the Board gets a feel of the daily operations of the Railways and to meet personnel in charge. ESR is striving for efficiency despite COVID-19.

 

Today, 20 May 2020, Eswatini Railways donated medical equipment worth E260, 000.00 to the Kingdom of Eswatini Government through the National Disaster Management Agency in support of the COVID-19 initiative. Handing over the cheque is ESR Board of Directors Chairman Alex Mngomezulu and ESR CEO Nixon Dlamini. In his Remarks ESR CEO stated that as a corporate citizen ESR will always support the government and the nation where possible. He urged all corporates and individuals to come forward and make a contribution in this noble initiative. He then wished everyone good health during this difficult moment.

Mr Nixon Dlamini CEng MICE (Eswatini Railways CEO)

On the 16th March 2020, the Minister of Public Works and Transport, Chief Ndlaluhlaza Ndwandwe hosted the ESR Board of Directors Chairperson and the media in a media briefing to announce the appointment of the new ESR Chief Executive Officer. The Minister was accompanied by the Principal Secretary, Khangeziwe Mabuza. The Board of Directors Chairperson Mr Alex Mngomezulu announced that Mr Nixon Dlamini is the new ESR CEO with effect from the 1st March 2020.

Mr Nixon Dlamini takes over from the now retired Stephenson Ngubane who vacated office at the end on December 2019. Below is his brief CV

Qualifications
1. BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering
2. BSC (Maths and Physics)
3. CSCS Black Managers Card
4. ICE Supervising Engineer

Professional Associations
1. Engineering Council UK (EngC UK)
2. Institution of Civil Engineers. (MICE)
3. Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA)
4. South African Association of Civil Engineers

Profession

Rail/Civil Engineer

Mr Dlamini has a wealth of knowledge in the rail and engineering sectors as he has worked in many parts of the world including the Republic of South Africa and the UK. He is joining ESR from a consultancy job with 2N Services (PTY) LTD as a lead consultant based in the United Kingdom

  • He has also worked as Associate Director and Rail business Leader for Arup where he carried out many functions including but not limited to carrying out rail development work, securing investment funding etc.
  • He has also worked as Principal Rail/Civil Engineer and Permanent Way Lead for Mott Macdonald
  •  He also worked for Eswatini Railways as Chief Civil Engineer earlier from October 1997 to August 2001.

The Minister wished him well and was confident that he will drive the organisation forward

During the 2019 Eswatini Quality Awards which were organised and hosted by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade ESR won the Company of the Year Award. ESR also won the Service of the Year Award. The wards which were sponsored by the European Union were held on the 8th November 2019. What an exhilarating moment for Stephenson Ngubane, the Chief Executive Officer. As he walked to the stage his face lit up with glee to receive the certificate of recognition and trophy for leading and organisation that is committed to quality standards and good management systems. The trophy was extended to him by the minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade who the asked the EU Ambassador, Hernandez Aragones and Deputy Senate President Ndumiso Mdluli to join him onstage. This is not the first award that ESR has won, they also won the Service of the year award in 2018 and the SADC Quality Award for Parastatals in 2018.

On behalf of the Eswatini Railways Board and Management, it has come to our attention that there are ongoing fraudulent activities committed using the Eswatini Railways name.

We have been made aware that there are people posing as representing Eswatini Railways, using fraudulent documents branded with the logo of the organization or using the name of the organization seeking to do business with Eswatini businesses or members of the public. Some promise unsuspecting members of the public nonexistent employment in exchange for cash. We are in possession of fake documents purported to be coming from Eswatini Railways requesting for quotations from a local supplier for some equipment to be used for the Eswatini Rail Link Project. This document has fake contact numbers, a fake contact person and a fake email address purported to be of a person who works for Eswatini Railways. The name of the organization is being used to attract business people to fall into this trap and to defraud members of the public.

We wish to state that for any tenders, we always publish tender adverts on national newspapers and those adverts always have Eswatini Railways contact numbers. The tender documents are collected from the designated office of the organization. We are cognizant of the fact that these fraudulent activities could be taking different forms to the ones we have referred to above, we wish to state that Eswatini Railways has not commissioned anyone to solicit quotations or purchase any goods on our behalf or hire people and demand payment in the process.

We want to warn the public that should you receive any suspicious request purported to be coming from Eswatini Railways do not hesitate to contact ESR Communications through 24117400 or send email to info@swazirail.co.sz to ascertain authenticity of the correspondence. We have made the Royal Eswatini Police Service aware of these developments and should anyone have such an experience, please do not hesitate to contact the nearest Police Station.

Corporate Communications