Trade Winds bimonthly update volume 5
The “Dar Corridor” which connects Zambia to the Port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania has come to a grinding halt after Zambia authorised the closure of the Nakonde border indefinitely to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections.
The decision was made after a surge in infections which blamed has been placed on truck drivers coming from Tanzania who themselves have seen a rise in infections.
Chitalu Chilufya, Zambia’s health minister advised that the border would remain shut until further notice, during this time health workers will be retrained with regards to the screening process in hopes of speeding up testing.
Fears are mounting that this will negatively impact and already struggling economy, however President Edgar Lungu announced last week Friday that certain measures will ease, he had this to say “We have experienced reduced revenue and if the status quo remains the same, our economy will plunge into the worst crisis, I have therefore seen it inevitable to reopen cinemas, restaurants and gymnasiums,”
There is still much confusion with regards to Zambia’s lockdown as there is conflicting reports whether the country is or isn’t in a lock down.
Producing at a loss, South African Miners are becoming more and more concerned as the effects of COVID-19 are negatively impacting deep level mining in the country, last month government allowed deep level mines to operate at half capacity, this is however is not sufficient according to mining giant’s CEO of Sibanye Neil Froneman, he said “Labour intensive mines cannot continuously operate at these levels, so they will either have to restructure or shut down, you can’t keep on producing at a loss”
“We are causing more harm by constraining the economy than we are impacting positively on Covid-19,” said Froneman. “We have gone too far now; we now need to get the economy to start up.”
South Africa produces 75% of the world’s platinum and about 40% of palladium.
Sibanye which is the world’s number one platinum miner and Harmony Gold Mining Co. have ended guidance, whilst the likes of Anglo American Platinum Ltd. and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. have slashed their output forecasts.
Chirundu delays have seemingly come to an end, just last week Zimbabwean officials were instructed to move down south and inspect vehicles sitting at truck stops in order to combat potential smuggling, by the weekend this resulted in a 27km queue and drivers further down were being robbed of their possessions at gun point, Zambian officials acted swiftly and came to assist in the control zones on the Zimbabwean side and by the beginning of this week the queue had been reduced to a 7kms, processing of drivers is now moving smoothly and its business as usual.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning how to dance in the rain”.