statement by the Tanzanian Minister of Communications and Transport, Hr. Amir Jamal.
This is a shortened version of a statement issued by the Tanzanian Government in reply to Press allegations on the inefficiency of Dar-es-Salaam Port and Tanzania’s capacity to transport goods, in particular fertilizer, to Zambia.
“In November 1965 the only link between Dar-es-Salaam Port and Zambia was a dirt road. When Zambia decided to participate in the world sanctions against Rhodesia, all its oil, a large proportion of its copper, and many of its other goods were transported on this road, which was rapidly destroyed. Tanzania and Zambia took immediate and combined steps to deal with this situation. By 1973, when Zambia closed its border with Rhodesia, there was in existence: a jointly owned Oil Pipe Line (2/3rds pwned by Zambia, 1/3rd by Tanzania); a road Transport Company jointly ovmed by Zambia, ‘L’anzania and an Italian firm; and tarmac on a realigned and re-designed road from Dar-es-Salaam to Zambia. This work was completed in 1969.
By the beginning of 1978, the road existed and – most important of all – the jointly-owned (50% owned by Zambia and 50% by Tanzania) Tazara Railway from Dar-es-Salaam to New Kapiri Mposhi had been in operation for almost two years.
In 1965, there were three deep water berths in Dar-es-Salaam. By 1973, there were eight such berths. By the beginning of 1978 there were eleven berths in operation. Construction of two more berths is under consideration. All these figures exclude berths which require unloading by lighters.
Tanzania Harbours Authority is a parastatal corporation, which under the law which established it, is required to run its affairs on commercial principles, and earn adequate savings to meet the needs of steady expansion. Rates, once fixed, normally apply to all users. There is no case where non-Tanzania users pay higher rates than Tanzanians.
Congestion of the port of Dar-es-Salaam has at different times been a problem. This has been caused in part by “bunching” of ships,by the nature of the cargo such as bulk cargo or general cargo, by the bringing in of very smal1 consignments which nonetheless require full in-and-out treatment. The primary cause has been the failure on the part of importers to move their goods from the port area; in particular importers of Zambian goods have taken considerable time in clearing their goods. The situation has been aggravated by the practice of Zambian copper exporters to accumulate different quantities of copper at the port, sometimes to meet particular sales contracts, at other times to accumulate in anticipation of sale, so that there could be at any time large quantities of copper, up to 70,000 tons awaiting shipment and yet a quantity of each consignment may still remain to be railed from Zambia or for which sales remain to be concluded. Recent reorganisation in the port has begun to show positive results. For example, the average waiting time for unitized ships is now four days. For conventional cargo it is 16 days. While the new system needs a period of consolidation, it still remains dependent upon movement of goods out of the port area.
Transportation of Goods to Zambia
TAZARA was constructed with a view to eventually being able to transport 5M. tons of cargo in both directions. The initial rolling stock and locomotive power was intended to ferry 2M. tons in both directions. This equipment consists of 85 main line locomotives and 2,100 wagons. (These figures presumably are per year although the statement does not specify this).
On 7.10.78 (latest available information) out of a total of 1,484 wagons in service, 498 wagons were in Tanzania and 986 were in Zambia. The current turn-round time is about 20 days. In the third quarter of 1977 it was about 10 days. TAZARA wagons are the same gauge as Zambian Railways, and different from the Tanzanian Railways Corporation.
In 1977/78, 419,943 tons of goods were railed to Zambia from Dar-es-Salaam by TAZARA – an average of 1,150 tons per day. So far in 1978, an average of 700 tons per day has been moved. There seems to be a continuing deterioration of the situation judging from the fact that in September this year the average has fallen to 420 tons per day whereas some 9,000 tons of documented imports destined for Zambia are awaiting transportation.
In 1977, 117,420 tons of goods were transported to Zambia from Dar-es- Salaam by road – an average of 322 tons per day. So far in 1978, an average of 308 tons per day has been transported.
Tanzania was first informed of the Zambian problem about fertilizer on 4th October 1978, when the UNIP Secretary-General Chana saw President Nyerere to inform him of the necessity for Zambia to move goods through Rhodesia. In an endeavour to make this unnecessary, the President immediately instructed that top priority should be given to Zambian fertilizer.
After investigation, the President was informed that there was no Zambia fertilizer in Dar-es-Salaam or elsewhere in Tanzania waiting to be transported to Zambia.