Home Buyzim 24 Violence In SA: Buy Zimbabwe Calls For Local Production

Violence In SA: Buy Zimbabwe Calls For Local Production

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Moses Charedzera

Buy Zimbabwe has underscored the importance of producing most of Zimbabwe’s products locally following reports that the rioting and looting in South Africa could affect logistics and food imports in Zimbabwe. 

The violence and looting has mainly affected Kwa Zulu Natal KZN, and Gauteng provinces. KZN is home to Durban port which is a major delivery terminal for Zimbabwean importers while official figures indicate that South Africa is Zimbabwe’s main trading partner and source of raw materials.

The unrest which started off as a protest against the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma for contempt of court has led to the death of at least 212 people and seen widespread looting of shopping malls and other business centres , resulting in president Cyril Ramaphosa deploying the South African army to quell the violence.

Buy Zimbabwe General Manager Alois Burutsa says the unfolding events in South Africa is a clarion call for Zimbabwe to push harder for the produce local and buy local campaign.

“The disturbances that took place in South Africa last week of looting and burning and general anarchy were very unfortunate and many Zimbabwean companies have come out and said this will affect local industry, the manufacturing industry in particular because 60 percent of our raw materials come from South Africa or through South Africa.

“Therefore these disturbances are going to lead to shortages of raw materials which will then lead to shortages of products on our shelves which might even lead to price increases for certain products,” he said.

Burutsa reminded local manufacturers of the need to ramp up production and achieve self-sufficiency under the Buy Zimbabwe campaign.

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“From a Buy Zimbabwe perspective we are saying these recent unfortunate developments in South Africa, coupled with the covid-19 pandemic have given credence to the Buy Zimbabwe message. What we are saying as Buy Zimbabwe is that we need to reduce greatly our dependency or reliance on foreign products, foreign raw materials, and foreign finished products and consume locally produced goods and services.

“We are also in full support of government’s local content policy as it is now more critical for us as a nation to localize our value chains and start getting our raw materials locally so that we become as self-reliant as possible as a nation to avoid such exogenous shocks.

“As a country we have no choice, we have got to localize our value chains, we have got to support and produce our own products and to buy our own products that’s how we can grow the economy and survive the external shocks, ’’ said Burutsa.

Zimbabwe’s exposure to South Africa stems from the fact that 80 percent of Zimbabwean companies in the agriculture and horticulture sectors source their raw materials from the neighbouring country or through it, according to a CZI report entitled ‘Raw Material Import Exposure for Zimbabwean Industries’

Economists have also warned that Zimbabwe should brace for renewed problems as the violent protests in South Africa could result in trade losses of over US$340 million per month. This could also lead to a resurgence of inflationary pressures in the long run, according to the economic experts.

Zimbabwe annually exports about 40% of its output – worth about US$2.3 billion – to South Africa, while it imports about 50% – valued US$2 billion – of its needs from its powerful southern neighbour.

Durban Port is one of the major delivery terminals used by Zimbabwean importers and exporters as an international gateway.  

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