SA accounted for nearly half of Zimbabwe’s imports last year

TimesLive

Zimbabwe last year imported goods worth ZW$324.6bn (about R12.8bn) from SA, making up 47.1% of the country’s imports.

Zimbabwe Revenue Authority’s (Zimra’s) acting commissioner general, Rameck Masaire, speaking at the revenue body’s annual general meeting added that 45.2% of Zimbabwe’s exports were destined for SA.

“The major trading partner [in 2020] remained SA, from where 47.1% of imports were sourced from, as well as 45.2% of exports,” he said.

For 2020, the total imports for the year stood at ZW$324.6bn. Total exports reached $257bn (R10.1bn), with a trade deficit of $67.6bn (R2.6bn).

According to trading economics, a global monitor, tobacco was Zimbabwe’s biggest export to SA, raking in US$654.34m.

Despite official trade figures, smuggling of goods into Zimbabwe from SA remains high, with the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce estimating about R1bn lost revenue annually.

In many instances precious minerals such as gold, copper and diamonds are smuggled into SA across the 225km border shared by the two countries, as are undocumented foreign nationals and contraband cigarettes.