03 Jan 2019
Delta Corporation, Zimbabwe’s largest brewing company, announced that its beverages subsidiary will cease to accept any form of payment other than hard currency, in order to protect itself from a shortage of U.S. dollars in the country.
The implementation was said to take place from January 4th.
Zimbabwe first took up the use of foreign currencies in 2009 so as to tame inflation. However, a shortage of physical notes has led to the U.S. dollar losing value.
This shortage has widely affected businesses, with some choosing to close as a result. Delta’s decision further highlights the strain caused, with the company no longer accepting electronic dollars known as ‘Zollars” or a quasi-currency known as “bond notes” at its Delta Beverages subsidiary.
Delta Beverages said on Twitter that the company was lacking in foreign currency and therefore resulting in foreign suppliers cutting off credit and new orders.
“Our business has been adversely affected by the prevailing shortages in hard currency, resulting in the company failing to meet your orders,” it said, adding that soft drinks had been out of stock for prolonged periods.
“To sustain its operations, the company advises wholesale and retail customers that its products will be charged in hard currency.”
Basic goods, medicines and fuel have also all been impacted.
Despite Delta’s decision, Zimbabwe’s Industry Minister has said that it is illegal for local companies to charge US dollars for their products and that the law will play a role if the practice does not come to an end.
Zimbabwe’s economy is based on the U.S. Dollar, but mobile money and debit card purchases have risen due to the lack of hard currency.