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Supermarkets cash in on sliding rand

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SEVERAL retail outlets in the country recently started dishing out coins as change to their customers as they try to cash in on the weakening South African rand.

Victoria Mtomba
Business Reporter

This is unlike in the past when customers were forced to buy small items like sweets as shop owners claimed to have run out of coins.

The rand has been weakening since last year and retailers have resorted to dumping the coins into the market for fear of losing out in the long run.

Consumer Council of Zimbabwe executive director Rosemary Siyachitema condemned the new development, adding that consumers have always been shortchanged since the economy dollarised in 2009.

“We don’t see any fundamental change in the shops. Retailers always want to benefit from the consumers,” Siyachitema said. She also said consumers were accepting the coins regardless of their low value.

In 2011, local banks were stuck with over R8 million worth of coins after retailers refused to accept them demanding a fixed exchange rate.

Zimbabwe has adopted a large foreign currency basket which includes South African rand, British pound, euro, United States dollar, Botswana pula, Japanese yen and Chinese yuan.

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