SOUTH Africa Finance Minister Mr Tito Mboweni yesterday said Zimbabwe should look at introducing a new currency to counter its economic and financial challenges and also called for his country’s political leadership to intervene in ending sanctions in the neighbouring country.
Speaking to journalists in Johannesburg ahead of the upcoming trip to Davos for the World Economic Forum next week, Mr Mboweni said South African government representatives, including National Treasury director-general and the Reserve Bank Governor, had met with their Zimbabwean counterparts on December 26 in Johannesburg and had had a conversation about the status of the Zimbabwean economy, the finance and banking systems, the attempts to reignite the economic health of Zimbabwe, adding that they reaffirmed their mutual commitment to working together to assist their brothers across the Limpopo.
“I think the idea of using a new currency in Zimbabwe is a good one. I think our colleagues there are on a good wicket when it comes to that space.
“We are working together very well but at the end of the day it is Zimbabweans who need to fix their country,” Mr Mboweni said.
“But something that is beyond my powers, Presidents will have to work together to ensure that whatever remaining sanctions in Zimbabwe are removed.
“Those sanctions are causing big problems. Because if you want to go and do anything that involves the US dollar and you are under sanctions, political leadership hopefully will really do something to remove the sanctions. It is key and central to the revival of the Zimbabwean economy.”
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube last week said the country would have its own currency within the next 12 months, as Government is frantically working on raising enough foreign currency to anchor it.
Addressing delegates at a “Road to Davos” townhall meeting in Harare last Friday, Prof Ncube said adopting the United States dollar or the South African rand would not solve the country’s macro-economic problems.
“On the issue of raising enough foreign currency to introduce the new currency, we are on our way already, give us months, not years,” he said.
Asked to give a timeline on when currency reforms would be implemented, Prof Ncube said it would be done “in less than 12 months”.