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Shop owners warm to rand
Stephen Chadenga

Gweru shop owners warm up to rands
Gweru shop owners are now accepting the South African rand following the rejection of the currency by most business operators in the city in recent months, owing to its volatility.

Recently, commuter omnibus operators in the city started rejecting the rand, arguing they were incurring losses due to the currency’s instability.

Though big retail supermarkets accept the rand, smaller shops had joined the bandwagon in discarding it. But the situation has changed as most small shop owners were now accepting the currency. A snap survey by this paper revealed that most shops in the city had notices that encouraged customers to come and buy their goods as they accepted the rand. “We accept rands, please come in and buy,” read a notice on one of the shops.

A shop owner who spoke on condition of anonymity said he used to reject rands, but had realised that he could use the currency to buy cheaper goods in South Africa for resale here.

“I never wanted to see the rand in my shop, but I have now realised that with the rand I can get more goods in South Africa,” said the small-scale retailer operating in the city.

But the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) recently discouraged its members from profiteering behaviour.

“On pricing, the CZR is encouraging retailers to continue offering affordable prices for goods and services and strongly condemns any act of profiteering and speculative behaviour at the expense of the general public,” CZR said in a Press statement.

The rand recently slipped against the United States dollar, a situation that has seen many businesses reluctant to accept the currency because of its value on the international market.

One US dollar is trading at about R13,50.

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