By NQOBANI NDLOVU/MTHANDAZO NYONI
Delta Corporation is reportedly demanding customers to pay for part of their orders from the beverage maker in hard currency to allow it to source imported raw materials as a pressing foreign currency shortage intensifies, Newsday has established.
In January, a panicky government forced the company to reverse its United States dollar-pricing system, insisting that it would assist with foreign currency to hedge against losses and allow the beverages manufacturer to import the raw materials needed.
But according to some wholesalers, Delta was demanding foreign currency amid claims of government’s failure to satisfy the company’s forex allocation demands. Delta spokesperson Patricia Murambinda, however, denied the claims though admitting the beverages maker encourages forex settlements for its products.
“There is no government policy or directive that prohibits customers from paying in any currency within the basket. We are encouraging our traders to pay part of their orders in hard currency. This allows the company to source imported raw materials,”Murambinda said in an emailed response.
Last week, imbibers were subjected to another beer price increase with some traders, in particular bars, demanding foreign currency in the city.
Murambinda added: “Please, note that Delta has been and continues to sell products in line with the multiple currency framework.”
In a notice to wholesalers and retailers last month, Delta said the fall in value of the bond note against the US$ had adversely impacted on its operations, resulting in its failure to meet demand for beer and other beverages.
Delta also said it had invested US$600 million in plant and equipment, among others, hence the need to protect its investment. A number of companies are also demanding part payment in foreign currency