Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks you know vendors, EcoCash cash sellers and a vast majority of the informal business community have been rejecting the 50 cents bond coin essentially spelling it’s death.
Why is the 50 cents coin being killed?
Well, the price of everything is going up these days due to things like shortages, power cuts and just plain and simple incompetence on the part of the government when it comes to fighting corruption. You can also add sanctions to that list.
If you want a loaf of bread you need 37 of these 50 cents coins. If you want 10kg of mealie-meal you need at least 200 of these little bad boys. If you want to buy a one-week grocery you need a sackful of these shiny little things. Imagine how much of these coins a grocery shop will have at the end of each day? It makes accounting and verification a nightmare.
Some people call it laziness but you have to understand where businesses are coming from. If they are not scratching their heads at EcoCash’s perennial woes they are counting sackloads of cash. It’s, of course, all the government’s fault.
The RBZ cannot stop this demonetisation
The government would have us believe that printing small value coins and notes is going to tame inflation and solve world hunger. That’s just a sad and pathetic PR exercise. The truth is that even after the new cash injection we are still having cash shortages which will only become worse after what is now turning out to be the universal rejection of 50 cents coins.
Because of these cash shortages cash still has a premium attached to it which is reflected in the triple pricing system. People don’t spend hours queuing for money so they can use it to pay OK supermarket. They do this so they can use cash to buy groceries downtown at a cheaper price.
When these vendors start rejecting these 50 cents coins it means the only place you can spend them is OK Supermarket. In OK the cash price and the RTGS price is the same. Why not just use your card or EcoCash to pay OK Supermarket instead of wasting your time going to the bank?
This means that people have also started rejecting these coins because there is really no point in accepting them since you cannot spend them easily. Most people when offered 50 cents coins by their bank are outright rejecting them.
This means the fate of the coin is sealed. People no longer accept it which means even if the vendors change their minds they would have an uphill battle convincing the public to take these coins again.
The 50 cents coin is dead soon the $1 will follow and the $2 note thanks to inflation.