SA exports to Zim dip by 10% on back of product ban: Report

Harare - South Africa's exports to Zimbabwe have dropped by 10% on the back of a ban imposed on various South African products last year, a report says.

The ban, which covered food, building materials, furniture, toiletries and other products sparked violent protests from cross-border traders in Beitbridge.

Tight controls

The state ZBC broadcaster said on Tuesday that figures seen by it at an ongoing SADC Industrialisation Week in Johannesburg “indicate that South Africa has incurred a 10% drop in exports to Zimbabwe on the back of the tight controls”.

Tens of thousands of unemployed Zimbabweans, who earn a living by travelling to South Africa to buy cheap products for resale back home, were the ones most affected by the ban.

Cash woes persist

The government enforced the ban, known as Statutory Instrument 64, in a bid to boost local industry and prevent outflows of scarce foreign currency.

But cash woes remain, and Central Bank Chief John Mangudya said last week that out of the 400 million US dollars imported since January, around 200 million US dollars had been siphoned off into the informal sector.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries said the capacity of local producers increased to more than 47% in 2016 from around 34% in 2015 after the import regulations came into force.

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