INDUSTRY and Commerce Minister, Sithembiso Nyoni, has urged small businesses and informal traders to acquire point of sale (POS) machines so that they pay taxes.
She made the remarks yesterday during a tour of tuck shops in downtown Harare.
“It has come to our attention that a significant number of informal traders are not tax compliant and do not possess fiscalised devices,” she said.
“This non-compliance results in potential tax revenue loss for the Government, as these traders receive Zimdollar receipts from manufacturers despite paying for goods in US dollars.
“Additionally, we must address the impact of Statutory Instrument 118a of 2022, which has resulted in formal retailers having to price their goods at the in-store rate plus 10 percent because this regulation has inadvertently made their products more expensive in US dollar terms.”
Minister Nyoni said manufacturers and retailers had raised several critical issues that required the attention of the Government.
“The issues raised require our immediate attention and one of the major concerns is the emergence of cash-rich informal wholesale and retail shops, particularly in the downtown area of Harare, which has led to an artificial shortage of basic commodities in the formal market.
“These informal shops are buying directly from manufacturers in US dollars, thereby impacting the availability of goods for formal retailers.
“Another issue raised is the reluctance of manufacturers to supply basic goods to the formal sector, as formal retailers often take an extended period (up to 60 days) to make payments.
“This delay in payment is unsustainable and has led manufacturers to favour selling to informal traders who exclusively trade in US dollars.”
Minister Nyoni emphasised that foreigners who wish to trade in the country must obtain the required paperwork.
The retail sector is reserved for Zimbabweans, although there is a trade threshold for foreigners.
Using a recent mobile money transfer scam as an example, she said the Government will be cracking down on foreigners who are in contravention of local laws.
“I want everyone to know that we are here to implement the laws of Zimbabwe. Everyone must comply with the rules and regulations.
“If you are a foreigner and you are in trade, make sure that you have everything that is required for you to operate. If not, we will be sending people to make sure that you get the required documents,” she said.