Zambia – Tanzania copper railway link closed

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The railway line linking Zambia and Tanzania (TAZARA) used to export copper from Africa’s two biggest producers has been closed due to a strike, confirms the railway authority.

The TAZARA line is a main route for copper exports through the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam from Zambia and Africa’s biggest producer the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Cross-border operations were halted on 12 January 2015, after workers went on strike demanding five months of unpaid salaries, confirms Conrad Simuchile, TAZARA spokesman.

“The employees in both regions of Tanzania and Zambia communicated to the Authority that they would no longer wait for the promised solutions and opted to down tools,” says Simuchile.

TAZARA had been operating at a loss and had failed to meet most operational costs, including expenses for locomotive spares, rolling stock, fuel and salaries for employees, he said.

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