Skip to comments.Waiting in vain for a train in DR Congo
Posted on 11/24/2011 2:24:38 AM PST by Cardhu
Alexandre Mapokopero is proud to work for SNCC, the national railway of the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the last time he actually mounted a train was back in June.
As chief train attendant in the southern city of Lubumbashi, his job is to attend to passengers' every needs while they are travelling.
He turns up for work every day but there is no work to go to because so few of the country's trains are actually running.
Mr Mapokopero complains that he is owed more than 60 months' back-pay.
"I can't afford to resign," he says, hoping that one day, the company will resume payments.
"I'm scared that if I quit I may lose all my benefits, including my pension."
'A big mess' Continue reading the main story Start Quote We have no locomotives, no carriages End Quote Alexandre Mapokopero
Congo to revamp decrepit railways
Ahead next week's elections, the state of the rail network reveals all one needs to know about the vast country's problems, past and present.
Originally designed to meet the transport demands of the mineral companies, it is still failing to meet the needs of ordinary Congolese.
Like much in DR Congo, it is old, run-down, badly managed and in desperate need of an overhaul.
"There is a big mess in the Congolese rail system," says Mbuyu Kikidji, who used to run the national rail company.
"First of all the rail system is very old. The management is also old. And the equipment is old," he says.
"And there's not a proper vision to where this railroad is going."
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
Resigned to her fate, she adds: "It's always like this, but what can I do?
"I haven't got enough money to buy a plane ticket."
Poor woman and we think we have it bad.
Send a big Thank-You to the Belgian Embassy.
The trains ran when it was the Belgian Congo. Blame the US and the Marshall Plan’s European debt relief “deal.” African colonies gained independence a generation too soon.
Of course, if AMTRAK was privatized, small of our trains, such as the California Zephyr, would be gone. Passenger service on trains could be profitable, since air traffic is getting expensive.
Yes I am a railfan.
A compomise would be for the Feds to get rid of Amtrak and get bids from the various railroads to operate passenger service. They could do it cheaper and better than Amtrak and the railroads would not lose by it.
Mr Mapokopero complains that he is owed more than 60 months’ back-pay. “I can’t afford to resign,” he says
The Congo is still “stone age” by the will of the people and nothing else. You make your bed and you lay in it to sleep. No truer statement.
If the resource-rich Congo was populated by Germans or Japanese, it would be a global economic superpower.
You can “carbon date” African countries back to their “liberation” from colonial rule by the state of their infrastructure.
50 years ago the Congo infrastructure was far from “stone age.”
What happened? To answer, one must grasp the nettle of un-PC reality. Mustn’t go there!
Fortunately, he still has his red stapler