Zimbabwe Cross-Border Traders Association will on Friday meet South African manufacturers in an effort to convince the producers to allow cross border traders to bypass wholesalers and buy directly from them instead.
The meeting will be held at a Bulawayo lodge.
Zimbabwe Cross-Border Traders Association president Mr Killer Zivhu will be leading the Zimbabwean delegation that will include all the 92 representatives from the association’s administration centres.
The meeting comes just as Zimbabwe has removed import duties on basic commodities in a move meant to counter rising prices of locally manufactured goods.
Zivhu, a former ZANU PF legislator for Chivi South told the Chronicle that their engagement with South African producers is aimed at reducing prices of commodities as they will be purchased on low prices. He said:
“We want to go a step further from what our Government led by President Mnangagwa did. By engaging the manufacturers, themselves we will be able to purchase these goods at even cheaper prices from South Africa which will then further compel these local manufacturers to reduce their prices. We have done this before and are confident that we will succeed again because these prices are just unjustifiable and now, we are seeing an artificial shortage of goods in some shops,” said Mr Zivhu.
He said cross-border traders have to take advantage of the waiver period and flood the local market with imported basic commodities to force local producers to reduce their prices.
Zivhu said the strategy worked in 2007, and 2008 and “shall be a success this time around. Prices will and shall fall.”
Local producers cite issues including the scarcity of foreign currency on the Reserve Bank forex auction as one of the reasons why prices go up. They buy foreign currency on the black market at high rates to import inputs used for production.