The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) Research and Development Section led by the Director Strategy, Research and Innovation, Mr Joey Shumbamhini embarked on a research to find out on the impact of South African riots for Zimbabwe and the Authority as a revenue collector.

The Section as the eye of the organisation, is responsible for providing powerful knowledge and insights that lead to the improvement of existing processes or services within the Authority. Members from the section dug up information on how the July 2021, riots in South Africa were going to are affect Zimbabwe in an effort to give the Authority a heads up for possible action.

According to the research the riots will have serious effects on the Zimbabwean economy and in particular, diaspora remittances, trade and revenue collections. Diaspora remittances have previously overtaken foreign aid and are very crucial to the economy. Most Zimbabweans living in South Africa, often send money back home. With the riots, some Zimbabweans in South Africa were left unemployed which will be difficult for them to send money back home resulting in low diaspora remittances. There is also likely to be reduced consumption on the local market affecting revenue heads such as Value Added Tax and Excise Duties.

Trade has also been equally affected since South Africa has over the years been Zimbabwe’s major trading partner for both imports and exports. Customs revenues are likely to experience a knock since the riots decreased imports from South Africa coming into Zimbabwe.

It was noted that at Beitbridge Border Post on a normal day ZIMRA was clearing about 500 and 450 incoming and outgoing commercial trucks respectively. However, since the eruption of the riots, the daily averages had gone down to 375 and 415 for incoming and outgoing commercial traffic respectively. South Africa has also been the route for transiting goods destined for other countries from Zimbabwe and hence the closure of roads, infrastructure disturbances and lootings at the Durban Port were not conducive importation of goods. All these have an impact on revenue collection, financials as well as the lives of the people in Zimbabwe.