Ministry of Investment Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary Keganele Malikongwa has warned Batswana against hording of food stuffs and pharmaceutical products, in the advent of the corona virus outbreak.
Malikongwa expressed worry tha panic was beginning to set in as the public has begun bulk buying. She said this has a potential of creating shortages and artificial demand, which would in turn lead to a rise in prices.
The PS has urged the public to exercise calm and restraint and avoid panicking as trade channels remain open for the supply of essential commodities.
“Ideally there should be no disruption of everyday trade as any restrictions will not extend to commodities. We have had contact with our trading partners specially the Republic of South Africa who are our biggest trading partner and main trade route for the conveyance of commodities through sea, road and rail. Our minister, Peggy Serame has been in contact with her counterpat, the South African Minister Ebrahim Patel. To this end the ministers agreed that all commercial boarder posts remain open. This will help prevent any disruption of the flow of trade between the two countries,” said Malikongwa
The PS further stated that should there be any changes, South Africa will notify them on time so that business people can be afforded sufficient time to ready themselves for compliance. She said there shall be daily contact between the two ministers so as to ensure constant evaluation and monitoring of the situation.
Malikongwa also said they will initiate contact with their partners Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
When asked how the outbreak of Corona virus has affected trade bill, Malikongwa said they haven’t received any specific reports from Botswana based exporters but they were actively studying patterns of imports.
She said they have been proactive in engaging with Business Botswana in anticipating possible developments and trying to mitigate against the risks posed