Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
THE Cross Border Traders Association (CBTA) is targeting 10 000 traders in Matabeleland region to benefit under the $15 million loan facility unveiled by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).
In an interview yesterday, the CBTA president Dr Killer Zivhu said the facility will provide a platform for traders to formalise their operations.
He said since the introduction of bond notes cross border traders have been struggling to access foreign currency, which is critical in their business.
Dr Zivhu said this resulted in some of the traders increasing the prices of their goods, which in turn affected their business.
He said upon engaging the RBZ over support the central bank availed the $15 million loan facility that will see thousands of CBTA members benefiting.
“In Bulawayo for the mean time we’re targeting our 5 000 members, but all in all we’re targeting 10 000 people in Matabeleland region. We have members in Beitbridge, Gwanda, Victoria Falls and other districts as well,” said Dr Zivhu.
He said the new set up will ensure the security of operators as they would not need to hoard cash any more. “Now everyone is going to take their money to the bank because most of the traders were at risk of losing large sums of money. This was putting them at risk of being robbed as they had to carry cash wherever they were. Now they can use Visa cards to order more stock with that the risk of being robbed is reduced,” said Dr Zivhu.
He called on CBTA members to visit their local offices so that they can learn about the new facilities.
Dr Zivhu said members will be asked to open bank accounts with Agribank. He said they are in the process of coming up with a set up which will ensure that no one abuses the loan facility by externalising cash.
Dr Zivhu said last week they launched the same facility in Harare with members already benefiting from it.