Residents Welcome BUPTA Move

BULAWAYO residents have welcomed the move by the Bulawayo Public Transporters Association (BUPTA) to alter its United States dollar to South African Rand exchange rate from the 1:7 that is prevalent in most commuter omnibuses to 1:8 which better matches the current official rate.

Residents said the move was welcome as it meant that they would no longer lose out on their hard earned cash through what they termed ‘a deliberate ploy by kombi drivers and conductors to fleece them.’ Under the 1:7 rate, residents effectively lose a rand for each dollar whenever they pay in United States Dollars and get their change in Rands.

Residents also called upon other transport operators to follow suit as it is unfair for them to be using the 1:7 rate despite gains that the United States Dollar has made against the Rand on the international market. Tshova Mubaiwa commuter omnibuses are also using the 1:8 exchange rate.

The problems being faced with the use of a multi-currency system in Bulawayo stem from the fact that while most employees get their salaries in dollars, use of Rands is also widespread due to the close proximity of the city to South Africa and the influence of thousands of Zimbabweans from the Matabeleland region working in South Africa.

The Rand and the United States Dollar thus compete as legal tender in Bulawayo, giving rise to the problem of cross rates – which has often been characterised as giving leeway for transport operators and other traders to fleece the public through altering prices and exchange rates. Economists have previously called upon the government to ensure that all business operators stick to daily international exchange rates.

Post published in: News

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