Bread sales at the Musina Superspar have gone from 1 500 loaves a day to 3 500. is just one example of booming food sales in this Limpopo town near the Zimbabwe border over the past eight weeks. O f all the grocery stores in town, the is situated closest to the Zimbabwean border and manager Pieter Koekemoer said business is booming.
Fresh produce sales have increased between 95% and 100%, said Koekemoer, adding that sales of canned food and dried products such as maize meal have increased by about 55%. “Today [13 August] a client bought 50 cans of bully beef,” he said. Koekemoer distinguishes between two different types of Zimbabwean buyers – those who buy for themselves and those who buy for hotels, restaurants and other businesses. P eople who buy for themselves usually spend between R3 000 and R4 000, while so-called “runners” for businesses spend between R10 000 and R15 000 at a time. roducts that sell extremely well include bread, rice, maize meal, cooking oil, washing powder, fabric softener and soap.
Although basic foods are in highest demand, Rudie Botma, manager of Musina’s Kwikspar, said some also buy luxury items such as sweets and even meat. Botma said although Kwikspar was not doing as well as Superspar, there had definitely been an increase in sales since last year. “Our ovens are too small to keep up with the current demand for bread,” Botma said. But Zimbabwe’s spiralling inflation rate is catching up with buyers. Jayson Rana, chairperson of the Musina Business Chamber, said business had boomed between 7 July and the end of the month, but over the past weeks it had actually declined. He believed business was between 25% and 30% lower than the previous year and ascribed this largely to the high exchange rate. – Susan Botes