By Robert Tapfumaneyi
ZIMBABWE’S leading beverages manufacturer, Delta Corporation Limited has moved to dump the local bond note and RTGS saying it will, from this 4 January, start selling its products in United States dollars.
In a statement Wednesday, the company said its operations have been adversely affected by the prevailing shortages of foreign currency, resulting in its failure to meet customers’ orders, something that has affected soft drinks especially.
“The company has only received limited foreign currency allocation from the banking channels which have not been adequate to fund the import requirements,” said Delta.
“Resultantly, all our foreign suppliers are unable to continue providing credit or meet new orders as some of them have not been paid for extended periods.”
The move comes at a time when Zimbabweans celebrated Christmas without their favourite non-alcoholic beverages, among them the common Coca-cola brand.
The Zimbabwean government is struggling for foreign currency reserves to import essential products such as drugs and fuel.
Government has, in the meanwhile, imposed punitive penalties against those found dealing in foreign currency on the black market, leaving firms with limited choices on how to survive.
Delta imports its concentrate from Swaziland.
Said the firm, “In order to sustain its operations, the company advises the retail and the wholesale customers that its product will be charged in hard currency with effect from 4th January 2019.
“Our products are fairly priced in USD and have remained largely unchanged since 2013.”
Delta also said that it has invested in excess of US$600 million in plant and equipment vehicles and ancillary services since 2009, adding that there was need to protect this investment and ensure sustenance of all value chain partners.
“The prices of local materials and services have since escalated in both USD and in RTGS,” said the company.
“The company does not trade on parallel or black market and does not subscribe to any exchange rate between the USD and the RTGS or Bond Note, as they are not currencies.
“There is need for wider consultation on policy interventions to build consensus and market confidence among stakeholders to stabilize the macro-economic environment.”