Cross border traders eye rand economy

14 Nov, 2018 - 00:11 0 Views
Cross border traders eye rand economy Dr Killer Zivhu

The Chronicle

Nqobile Tshili, Business Correspondent
THE Zimbabwe Cross Border Traders Association (ZCBTA) has urged Government to adopt the South African rand as its main currency instead of the United States dollar.

ZCBTA president Dr Killer Zivhu said the rising parallel market exchange rates were frustrating business operations of more than two million people who rely on cross border trading.

He said Government should protect the informal sector, which has sustained millions in the country despite persistent economic hardships and lack of jobs.

“We should be trading using the rand although we would be in the multiple currency system. The disadvantage that makes things difficult for Zimbabweans is that the major currency in our multiple currency is the US dollar, yet it’s not readily available. Government should adopt the rand as the major currency in the multi currency system because the bond is no longer sustainable,” said Dr Zivhu.

“Go to the country’s border, the Statutory Instrument that restricted goods from being imported was lifted but there is not much activity at the entry points as people do not have access to foreign currency to go and buy goods.”

He said the separation of foreign currency accounts, which was announced in the recent monetary policy, was only benefiting large corporates, ignoring millions who are surviving through cross border trading.

Dr Zivhu said the prevailing situation was crippling cross border traders who are forced to buy foreign currency on the black market. To cushion themselves against spiking cross rates, some cross border traders are now charging their goods in rand.

“Honestly, you can’t buy your goods in rand and come and sell them in bond notes. It’s no longer sustainable to use a bond. It’s no longer sustainable to use electronic transfers. Right now the most essential shop that we don’t want to see closing is a pharmacy. But all pharmacies are now selling their products in US dollars. And if in any case they charge you in bond notes, they will put a mark up for cross rates obtaining on the black market,” he said.

Dr Zivhu said it was time for the Government to send a signal to its South African counterpart notifying it about its desire to use the rand as the official currency.

“The South African Minister of Foreign Affairs (Lindiwe Sisulu) came out saying they are ready to help Zimbabwe anytime if they are called to do so. It’s time to send the signal to South Africa that we need the rand and we want to make the rand our major currency in the country,” he said. — @nqotshili

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