Zimbabwe: Imports Surge 15pc Ahead of Lockdown

Imports rose 15 percent a week before Zimbabwe and South Africa effected lockdowns as citizens rushed to stock foodstuffs ahead of movement restrictions, statistics from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) show.

Zimra spokesperson Mr Francis Chimanda yesterday said in the week between March 16 and 22, they cleared 2 505 incoming commercial trucks against 2 683 processed during the period between March 23 and 29.

"There was an increase of 178 trucks compared to the previous week, giving a 7 percent increase in traffic," he said.

Mr Chimanda said there were fewer exports on the commercial side after they processed 1 852 haulage trucks between March 23 to 29 compared 2 471 trucks cleared on export in the previous week.

This was a decrease of 619 trucks, giving a variance of 25 percent.

Revenue jumped 15 percent after the national tax collector realised $161,3 million for the period March 23 to 29, compared to the week earlier.

"Currently, there is a reduction in south-bound trucks, while the north-bound traffic is still experiencing long queues as the South African Revenues Services (SARS) is releasing both Zimbabwe destined trucks and transit trucks," said Mr Chimanda.

Major imports coming through Beitbridge include mining equipment, cleaning materials, maize and wheat, electrical goods and steel.

In terms of exports, Zimra is mainly processing bills of entries for copper cathodes and MET coke.

Beitbridge is one the busiest inland ports in SADC which links South Africa and most countries north of the Zambezi River, including Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Tanzania and Angola.

An estimated 80 000 trucks use the border yearly.

In 2018, South Africa is said to have exported goods worth over US$3,2 billion to Zimbabwe through Beitbridge.

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