Shortages and price rises spark concern in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is experiencing a wave of rising prices of basic goods and shortages of crucial commodities amid fears that it could plunge into an economic implosion as in 2008. Some basic commodities have become hard to get in supermarkets. There is a severe shortage of bread, owing to a record-low supply of wheat. The country is also facing shortages of fuel, cement and other foodstuffs. A tin of baked beans that sells for about R11 in SA costs R38.54 in Zimbabwe. At the height of inflation in 2008, consumers had to resort to the black market for basics. The government printed "quintrillion" dollar notes that could hardly buy a loaf of bread.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is struggling to meet foreign currency demand from local companies, creating a precarious situation for manufacturers who are unable to import critical raw materials. This week, millers suspended operations owing to shortages of wheat as the central bank failed to pay for imports on time. A leaked internal memo on...