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Trade Winds bimonthly update volume 2

Over the last few days, Zimbabwe has seen the return of more than 65 citizens who were working on cruise ships and in the UK and an additional 3,500 from South Africa and Botswana whom have all been placed in quarantine, more residents are expected to return over the coming days.

Immigration is extending visas for all foreigners who were caught up in the lockdown. ZIMRA is also extending Temporary Importation Permits (TIPs) for all foreign registered vehicles that passed through the borders just days before lockdown

Earlier this week President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced an additional 2 weeks Hard Lockdown, as a result of Zimbabwe recording their 4th COVID-19 death.

In light of the extension there has been some relief to the mining sector, which has now been allowed to start operating. Lack of testing and safety gear has led some unions to raise concerns fearing health and the wellbeing of mine workers.

A target of 40,000 tests for the next couple of weeks has been set, there are however concerns over the availability of testing kits.

South Africa’s government has reversed plans to close the country’s ports for all but essential cargo after concerns were raised over the potential damaging effects this could have on trade and industry – as the country continues its battle against the COVID-19 scourge.

As a three-week lockdown had been placed in South Africa as of midnight March 26, many restrictions were imposed, namely the movement on all but essential goods and people. The following day, reports emerged that Transnet had advised that all terminals for mineral and mining commodities would be closed as a result, as time went on, Transnet released a statement suggesting bulk terminals and staff would operate “as per demand from mining customers”.

With this being said, Transnet has just recently mentioned that its various port utilities were only half as busy during the coronavirus lockdown, as various logistics subsectors experienced a drop in demand for their services.

Despite being classified as an essential service, Transnet Port Terminals saw a significant dip in its activity, as the economy wound down in April.

The ports division of Transnet said the container sector continued with its operations in the last three weeks of the national lockdown, although at a reduced capacity, in order to observe social distancing in the working environment.

This could soon change, as last night the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, announced the “Risk Adjustment Strategy” where levels will be introduced starting with Level 4 which means that some activity will be allowed to resume subject to extreme precautions, these are as follows:

  • Food Retail Stores selling full range of products
  • Agricultural sector
  • Open Casts Mining at 100% – Other Mining at 50%
  • Financial and Professional Services
  • Business Services for Export Markets
  • Postal, Telecom, IT and Fibre Services
  • Waste Recycling

It is important to note that these levels can be changed at any time and some areas within South Africa could be operating at the different levels. For a full breakdown please click

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided”