South Africa’s business community in Musina, Limpopo Province has bemoaned the effects of the coronavirus induced lockdown which has confined its Zimbabwean customers on the other side of the border.
Rana Masut who owns a shop in the small town of Musina that, in the past three months, his income had dropped from roughly R6 000 per day to about R1 000 on a good day, due to the closure of international borders as a result of Covid-19. He added:
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We are struggling because business is bad right now because of the coronavirus. Most of our customers from Zimbabwe are not able to come and buy anymore, so we lose half of the customers.
Another businessman, Hermanus Schoeman, who owns the oldest security business in the town and is also the owner and founder of Limpopo Safaris said he had lost bookings worth R20 million from international tourists who want to come and hunt game.
Zimbabwe and South Africa closed the Beitbridge Border as a way to stop the spread of the coronavirus with both President Mnangagwa and Ramaphosa, Zimbabwe and South Africa respectively saying public lives and safety was of paramount significance compared to the economy.
The neighbouring countries are slowly and carefully relaxing lockdown regulations but it is not known when they are going to open the borders and as the economic and humanitarian crisis in the two countries is worsening, some have resorted to smuggling goods through undesignated entry points to fend for their families and save their ailing businesses.
More: ZBC News