October 1, 2020

Will Zimbabwe’s stable exchange rate spur better salaries?

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Munashe Mukahlera

Zimbabwe’s foreign currency exchange rate has remained stable since the forex auction system was introduced, but workers are yet to enjoy the benefits. 

Most companies in Zimbabwe are still paying salaries in Zimbabwe dollars while prices are pegged to the United States dollar.

Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe President Dr Israel Murefu told ZTN News that salaries are not yet at par with the cost of living.

“There are some who are paying foreign currency, particularly those in the export sector like those in mining and other exporting companies. But those that are predominantly domestic are not paying in forex.

“They are paying in RTGs because that is the currency in which they generate their revenue and are lagging behind because companies are generally not doing well.

“This is the biggest problem. Employers are not able to pay what I would call market salaries,” he said.

Consumer Council of Zimbabwe Executive Director, Rosemary Siyachitema said most people cannot fill the consumer basket as salaries are still low.

“We know that basic salaries and wages have not improved much at all whilst products and basic foods have increased. If we look at what has happened since March during the lockdown and the Covid pandemic, the
food basket has increased in proportion to what we know salaries are. People struggle because their salaries have not increased in tandem with
basic commodities.”

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