Zimbabwe Says South Africa Imports Ban a ‘Safeguard Measure’

Zimbabwe doesn’t have a trade dispute with South Africa following a decision by authorities in Harare to bar imports of basic food products from its southern neighbor, Industry Minister Mike Bimha said.

“These are just safeguard measures,” Bimha told reporters at a Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries meeting in Bulawayo, southeast of the capital. “We met with the South Africans last week and advised them of our position, these are bilateral issues, there are no problems at all and we will continue to talk.”

Zimbabwe announced a ban on imports of various goods in June, including cosmetics, cereals, cheese, canned goods and furniture, saying it needed to develop local industries.

“South Africa has the requirement that all pharmaceutical products destined for that country be transported by air and not by road, but when their products come here they use roads, which is cheaper,” Bimha said. “We are taking back our jobs and they must understand that.”

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