Zimbabwe’s Delta Beverage reverses forex decision as RBZ promises to provide currency

ZIMBABWE – Delta Beverages, a subsidiary of Delta Corporation has reversed its decision to sell its products in foreign currency after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) assured the country’s leading beverage manufacturer that it would provide the forex required to fund its import requirements.

The decision to reverse the notice was made after Vice President Constantino Chiwenga met Delta officials together with RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya and Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube.

In a public notice dated 2rd January 2019, the firm had announced a pricing of its products in hard currency beginning 4th January this year.

Delta beverages said that the prevailing foreign currency shortages in the country had adversely affected the business resulting in it failing to meet orders.

Mr Pearson Gowero, Delta Bverege Chief Executive Officer made the announcement to withdraw from the hard currency pricing in a joint statement with Dr Mangudya.

“The parties agreed that Delta withdraws the notice to sell its products exclusively in hard currency, in the spirit of the multi-currency framework.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe will endeavour to provide the foreign currency required to ensure that Delta continues to trade on the current basis.” said Mr Gowero.

Prof Ncube had earlier on appealed to private firms to be patient while Government worked on fiscal consolidation.

“We are saying the private sector should wait for us to give policy.

They should be patient and see how our fiscal policy is making progress, we are making good progress in fiscal consolidation and once we are ready, we will institute the requisite monetary reforms,” said Minister Ncube.

Delta wanted to sell its products in “multiple foreign currencies” such as the rand, pula, Euro, British pound and US dollars as a measure of enabling the frim access key raw materials and pay suppliers.

The company said that lack of “easy access to foreign currency by non-exporters” had contributed to the company halting some of its production operations particularly soft drinks.

The new prices would have seen a 300ml bottle selling at 50c; a 330ml can (60c) while 500ml PET was pegged at US$1 while Lager beer prices were pegged at 80c for 375ml returnable bottles; 750ml returnable (US$1,50); and 340ml returnable (US$1).

Delta Corporation is an associate of AB InBev, the majority stakeholder in Natbrew Plc and an associate entity to African Distillers- the leading producer of wines, spirits and ciders.

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