Over the past two weeks the Bond/USD rate has spiked from around fifty-something percent to over a 100% and the shops are beginning to react. This most recent spike places sellers between a rock and a hard place because they have to price their goods accordingly and these prices may not look appealing to buyers.
With some retailers selling 16Gb Micro SD Cards for as high as $28 the usual reaction is to cry foul and claim that “we’re being ripped off” but this is not necessarily the case.Once you consider the fact that shops are buying stock using foreign and having to sell it in bond notes one can see why the prices are what they are. Shops also have to factor in taxes and then the markup before they reach a final retail price, which is why we are purchasing these things at a premium.
Another interesting development that has come about due to the fluctuating rates is the fact that some shops are now labelling their quotations as valid “for 24 hours”. This may mean that if you walk into a certain shop today and see a price but you are going to make the purchase in a day or two, the final price may be different from the one you initially saw.
The finance minister’s first misstep?
It seems our Finance Minister may have caused a panic when he declared that the bond notes are being phased out. Though initially, this was just talk he followed that up by declaring the three solutions he had that were going to solve the issues of the bond notes and by then it seemed the days of the bond notes were numbered.
Now if you had bond notes and you were hearing these declarations you may have thought to yourself, “why not just start changing these notes to forex and not be caught out when the transition from bonds to whatever Ncube decides we are using occurs.” It seems this has been the default approach for many and thus the rates have gone wild.
The President came out a few days ago and hit a u-turn declaring that the bond notes were actually here to stay in a bid to sweep up the mess we now find ourselves in but it seems the damage has been done and confident in the bond notes has decreased once again.
I’m not entirely sure if Mthuli Ncube’s statements last week were a bid to show that there would be transparency or whether he truly believed in doing away with the bond notes ASAP but it seems those comments have come back to bite the entire nation…