Zimbabwe’s retailers are rejecting the Rand as the value of South Africa’s currency continues to slide.
The Rand was introduced as legal tender in 2009 alongside the US dollar, the British pound and the Botswana Pula when Zimbabwe abandoned its worthless currency.
However, the recent weakening of the Rand has forced locals to insist on the US dollar as legal tender. The local currency is now being shunned, a sharp contrast to its reception in 2009 among a basket of international currencies introduced to stabilise Zimbabwe’s ailing economy.
The once-popular Rand coins were imported to relieve the shortage of small denominations that had forced consumers to accept sweets as change. But the currency’s volatility over the years has become a headache to import dependent Zimbabwe.
The Rand’s value has halved over the last four years. Last year the Zimbabwe’s Central Bank introduced bond coins valued against the US dollar. Despite the fact that they are in short supply, these are now the preferred coins.
Meanwhile, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers says it’s against the law for businesses to reject the Rand as it is still legal tender, but the organisation faces an uphill battle to persuade its members to accept the weakening currency.