A South African Reserve Bank (SARB) senior official says no decision on the sale of coins to Zimbabwe has been taken as discussions were still going on.
Report by Nqobile Bhebhe
SARB head of strategy and communication department, Hlengani Mathebula, told journalists in Bulawayo at the weekend that discussions were being held at the highest level.
Officials from the SARB are in the country to conduct awareness campaigns on new bank notes introduced recently.
“Zimbabwe is not a member of the Common Monetary Area (CMA), but there are conversations that are happening with regards to the coins issue,” said Mathebula.
“A decision has to be made at the highest level beyond the two central banks and that decision would be communicated.”
CMA is a grouping that brings together South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland into a monetary union.
Since the adoption of a multiple currency system in 2009, Zimbabwe has been facing a coin crisis, with retailers resorting to giving credit notes and sweets as change to consumers.
Last year, banks were said to have repatriated R8 million worth of coins as retailers resisted buying them.
Banks had sought to ease the problem by buying coins in South Africa, which they offered retailers at prevailing rand-US dollar exchange rates, but the latter appear not to be interested.
Mathebula, however, would not give a timeframe on when the talks would be concluded and was not in a position to give estimates on how much of South Africa currency was circulating in Zimbabwe.
On the new South African notes featuring former president Neslon Mandela, Mathebula encouraged traders and the public to accept and familiarise themselves with the notes.
“Although we have not received reports of people refusing to accept the new notes in Zimbabwe, we encourage the usage of the new notes.
“However, there is high demand for new notes as some people are framing the notes” he said.
He said there was no legal bases for traders to turn down worn out notes.