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ZCBTA urges govt to use e-commerce platforms

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BY Business reporter

THE Zimbabwe Cross-Borders Association (ZCBTA) has implored the government to consider the feasibility of using bonded warehouses, cargo consolidation and e-commerce platforms to secure goods from their suppliers legally and for safety purposes without any physical movement of
people.

In a statement yesterday, ZCBTA secretary-general Augustine Tawanda expressed concern over the increasing use of illegal crossing points to neighbouring countries mostly by cross-border traders as this has the potential to contribute to the rapid increase in COVID-19 infections.

These illegal activities are happening mostly along the Limpopo River into South Africa as desperate traders are risking their lives trying to eke a living.

“This development is without doubt putting the traders at risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 which has seen figures surging mostly in Harare and Bulawayo,” he said.

Given that cross-border trading sustains more than 300 000 households in Zimbabwe, Tawanda said they were worried about government’s delay to respond to proposals they presented earlier saying any further delay would further plunge the country into a serious catastrophe given the already overwhelmed and ailing public health delivery system.

“While we are alive to the challenges that will result from the wholesale opening of our borders without due regard to precautionary measures against the continued spread of COVID-19, we call for an urgent introspection by all stakeholders in finding sustainable and practical solutions to address these inter-twined challenges now faced by these desperate and restless cross-border traders who are caught between a rock and a hard place,” he said.

“The association is also imploring the government to consider the feasibility of using bonded warehouses, cargo consolidation and e-commerce platforms to secure goods from their suppliers legally without any physical movement of people,” Tawanda said.

In light of this, he said they were ready to work with relevant stakeholders as “we explore ways of addressing these compounded challenges faced by this vital constituency which has proved to be an important player in the country’s economic revival amid the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic now wreaking havoc and shattering lives and economies throughout the world.”

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