Natasha Chamba, Business Reporter
DELTA Beverages has urged its customers to be patient following a shortage of soft drinks and maheu products on the local market.
In a written response to questions from Business Chronicle yesterday, Delta Corporate Affairs executive Mrs Patricia Murambinda acknowledged the shortage of soft drinks and maheu brands across the country due to foreign currency shortages to import critical raw materials.
She said the beverages producer was making efforts to improve soft drinks and maheu products supply on the market.
“As reported in our previous trading updates, Delta relies on a number of critical imported raw materials. The limited availability of foreign currency has particularly affected soft drinks and maheu.
“We have not been able to source enough foreign currency for these imports as foreign currency is currently scarce in the nation,” Mrs Murambinda said.
Over the just ended Heroes and Defence Forces holidays, some retail outlets in Bulawayo did not have soft drinks and maheu brands.
For the past few months, retailers have been resorting to the black market to fill their shelves as Delta Beverages has been failing to meet local demand.
Mrs Murambinda urged their customers to be patient because it will take time to bring availability of the products to normalcy as raw materials were received following product outage for a lengthy period of time.
“Products supply may continue to be disrupted by low foreign currency availability and we always keep our customers informed at all times on the product lines which will be available.”
She said their maheu factory was operating at low capacity.
“Our maheu factory is currently running lower than capacity, with significant shortages of product on the market due to a shortage of packaging material.”
Mrs Murambinda said their soft drinks plants were now running at full capacity following receipt of a consignment of critical imported raw material in the past two weeks.
“Our banks and the RBZ (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe) are doing the best they can to ration the available currency, noting that there could be other pressing national needs,” she said. — @queentauruszw