There is a high demand for birth control bills in South Africa that are being smuggled from Zimbabwe, GroundUp reports.
The birth control pills freely distributed in Zimbabwe are being smuggled into and sold in South Africa.
Many Zimbabwean women prefer these pills above those from South African clinics.
Smugglers of the pills say they also have demand from Mozambican, Malawian, Basotho and South African women.
A trader who lives in Springs told GroundUp that she sells the pills to sex workers and sometimes visits informal mining areas such as Payneville and Benoni.
The trader claimed that she sells the pills to her clients at R200 for a box of contraceptives. She said:
I am expecting a batch of 500 pills, loaded safely on a bus from Zimbabwe as we speak.
She said she used to return to Harare and fetch stock sourced by her aunt back home but coronavirus restrictions have made it difficult for her to bring in the contraceptives herself. She added:
The long queues at clinics due to social distancing are proving to be a blessing in disguise.
Women who used to queue at local clinics for family planning are buying from me now.
Especially during the toughest lockdown periods.
Some women say they would rather sacrifice buying bread to make sure they have money for contraceptive pills.
Another woman told GroundUp she sells directly from her door and takes orders through Whatsapp.
She gets stock from her sister who “has connections in clinics” and lives in Chipinge.
She says she runs out of stock because there is so much demand.