Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
MEMBERS of the Cross Border Traders’ Association (CBTA) in Bulawayo have started accessing funding under the $15 million loan facility following a launch of the scheme in the city yesterday.
Speaking at the launch, CBTA president Dr Killer Zivhu said the facility provides an opportunity for their members in Bulawayo to easily access foreign currency for their businesses.
The deal also involves Homelink, a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
“The launch of this $15 million facility here (Bulawayo) now allows members of the association to easily access foreign currency to boost their business. Modalities have already been put in place to ensure that you can access as much as you want to access when travelling out of the country on business,” he said.
Dr Zivhu said members requiring large sums of money would be issued letters from the RBZ allowing them to easily pass the borders.
He urged the association members to ensure they do not abuse the facility.
“There is a limit that the Reserve Bank has set when travelling outside the country but if you are a cross border trader let’s say you want 200 000 South African rand, you can be allowed to take it out for business as long as you have a letter from the Reserve Bank to confirm that it is not about money laundering and externalisation. Let us use the facility fruitfully to do business,” he said.
Dr Zivhu said the $15 million loan facility was being disbursed through Agribank and foreign currency was accessible through Homelink.
“This is a loan, which is being accessed at about 12 percent interest rate per annum. Once you access the money under the facility make sure that you use it for the intended purpose as well as ensuring you pay it back as well,” said Dr Zivhu.
It is hoped that the facility would go a long way in easing working capital constraints that the traders have been facing of late due to the prevailing cash shortage.
Due to the cash crunch, the traders have been relying on the expensive and unreliable black market, which affected their businesses.
The $15 million loan facility was negotiated by Dr Zivhu to ease the plight of members of his association.