- International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says South Africa is ready and willing to provide assistance to Zimbabwe
- Sisulu said the moment Zimbabwean authorities asked for assistance the South African government would mobilise to help the people of Zimbabwe
- Zimbabwe is once again faced by the very real threat of another financial crisis due to a critical shortage of cash which is causing shortages in basic foods and living commodities
On Thursday, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said the South African government stood ready, willing and able to provide assistance to neighbouring Zimbabwe, but she pointed out Zimbabwe needed to ask for help first.
Sisulu made it clear that South Africa could not play the role of a parent or guardian to Zimbabwe by providing assistance out of its own accord and would instead make it clear that South Africa was ready to help should Zimbabwe need that help.
Zimbabwe is once again faced by the very real threat of another financial crisis which has been caused by a critical shortage of hard currency in the country.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Sisulu said South Africa and Zimbabwe shared a unique and deep friendship which was forged during similar liberation struggles taking place in both countries.
Sisulu said the South African government was concerned about the well-being of Zimbabwe and her people and would like nothing more than to see the country recover from its current socio-economic woes to retake its rightful place as the breadbasket of Africa.
IOL.co.za reported that chain stores such as Edgars and Truworths as well as fast food outlets such as KFC and St Elmos warned earlier this week that it would temporarily close its shops because of the severe cash shortages.
Economic uncertainty has sparked panic buying of basic foodstuffs and fuel which has led to rationing once again becoming an ugly reality. Motorists are only permitted to buy 20l of fuel at a time.
Shops have started closing their doors because they have run out of stock, those shops which have stock are limiting customers to one bread and five litres of water each.
Predictably unscrupulous black market vendors have taken advantage of the situation, cooking oil is being sold in the streets of Harare for upwards of $12 per litre as opposed to the recommended price of $3.70 per litre.
The Zimbabwean government introduced a new 2% tax on all electronic payment transactions this week. The government desperately needs additional revenue streams to refill its depleted coffers.
The tax has, however, brought on something of a crisis because of the significant impact it has on virtually every sphere of Zimbabwean life. Most ordinary Zimbabwean rely on electronic payment methods to go about their daily lives because of the severe shortage of cash in the country.
Police reportedly arrested dozens of protesters on Thursday in the capital Harare in scenes reminiscent of the bad-old Robert Mugabe days.
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