Shopping in South Africa to be a thing of the past


MASVINGO – Shopping trips to South Africa may in the next few months become a thing of the past.
The Business Economic Empowerment Forum (BEEF) has proposed the establishment of 20 mega warehouses at Beitbridge Border Post in a bid to curb unnecessary and illegal crossing into South Africa for basic goods.

BEEF president, Solomon Matsa told Two Nations in an exclusive interview that his organization has come up with a 10-point plan to deal with increasing illegal border crossings and establish a price control mechanism.

He said the plan revolves around the establishment of Beitbridge as a special industrial zone where at least 20 investors can build warehouses which import tax free goods from South Africa.

A business expert told Two Nations that it will become virtually unnecessary for people to travel to South once goods are available in Beitbridge. He said such a business model will serve Zimbabweans a lot of time and money.
The warehouse owners will then pay Government at least 2% of their sales and VAT after selling their products.
Matsa said the warehouse owners would be required to gazette their commodities in stock and their prices. The prices will have a baseline after considering transport and warehousing costs which in turn entails the provision of cheap products nationwide while deterring people from illegally crossing the border into South Africa.

“Most Zimbabweans are illegally crossing the border into South Africa for different economic reasons. The Government can curb this by establishing a tax free import industry in Beitbridge since the investors pay VAT after selling the goods.

“The investors can also pay 2% of their sales to Government. The prices will have a baseline considering transport and warehousing costs,” said Matsa.
The BEEF 10-point plan

  1. Allow Zimbabwean companies to build warehouses for South African products at Beitbridge. (It will take a maximum of 2 months to build such a warehouse)
  2. Give investors in the Special Zone import incentives of zero duty and zero vat. Vat will be paid to the State after sales.
  3. Remove Bureau Veritas to reduce cost of goods.
  4. This will avail cheaper goods to Beitbridge that will be sold in the rest of the country instead of people crossing the Limpopo.
  5. Allow trucks carrying the special zone goods maximum time of 6 hours for clearance. The goods must move in as express logistics.
  6. Fix maximum mark-up margins
  7. Give, say a maximum of 20 licences for this special zone to Zimbabweans only.
  8. A total of 2% of these companies’ sales must go to the State monthly, say after the first 12 months in order to recover site establishment costs.
  9. Government can also buy goods from these companies and this will reduce corruption.
  10. These companies must gazette weekly their commodities in stock and their actual prices.

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