Zimbabweans businesses are preparing for the possibility of a fourth wave of the novel coronavirus which may result in the disruption of their operations by shoring up inventories and building up cash reserves.
Local firms are also taking the measures in anticipation of any further deterioration in foreign currency accessibility on the central bank’s (foreign exchange) auction system.
Tjeludo Ndlovu, the group chief executive officer for Edgars Zimbabwe said uncertainty caused by COVID-19 is likely to continue due to emerging new variants of the virus and vaccine efficacy challenges. Said Ndlovu:
We are taking steps to exercise rigorous management of inventory levels, closely monitor all aspects of the trade receivables portfolio and optimising our funding mix to meet the needs of the business.
Edgars Zimbabwe opened two new Jet stores in Zimbabwe during the quarter to the beginning of October.
The company blamed movement restrictions arising out of the third wave of COVID-19 infections for the reduction in “foot traffic into stores during this trading quarter.”
To counter this, Edgars Zimbabwe said it was looking to expand both its brick and mortar and online footprint and develop a resilient business model that will resist future disruptions.
Other Zimbabwean companies such as Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed Cafca, a division of South African group, CBi Electric, are also stockpiling as a way of building up inventories in anticipation of possible business disruptions caused by challenges in accessing forex.
The fourth wave of COVID-19 has already been projected for Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner, South Africa and has also forced some European countries, such as Austria and The Netherlands into fresh lockdown restrictions.