WASHINGTON DC —
With many families in Zimbabwe fully dependent for all their daily needs on relatives and family members outside the country, those working in South Africa have come up with easy, fast and various ways of sending money and groceries to their families back home.
Attanas Ruvengo, one of those working for a grocery initiative company, says a person deposits money in South Africa and the next minute a relative in Zimbabwe picks up groceries at a supermarket.
With many bread winners in many Zimbabwean homes now working in other countries, taking care of their families’ daily needs has posed a great challenge.
However, Zimbabweans in South Africa have refused to be destroyed by these challenges.
They have now found ways of sending money and groceries to their families back home in less than 15 minutes.
Ruvengo works for Kawena in partnership with OK Zimbabwe. The company has come up with a grocery initiative that makes it easy to send groceries to family and friends in Zimbabwe in less than 15 minutes.
Ruvengo says under the initiative the one sending groceries needs to register with the company agents here in South Africa.
“Say your wife can call you now and tell you that she doesn’t have anything for supper and you might be broke as well but having a R200 or R100 in your pocket. That money is enough. You can go and send it at Kawena and in the next 20 or 30 minutes your receiver will phone you and say I’m already in OK doing the groceries for $20 or $30 that you have just sent to me, just as quick as all that.”
Ruvengo says once they register the sender, they take full details of the receiver to make sure there is no mistake.
“You need to give us full details of the receiver. From the name, the surname, the Zimbabwe phone number and the person’s identify number such that once you send, you just WhatsApp up or phone that person and say go to the OK I’m done, as simple as all that. So that person must be in possession of his Zimbabwean ID that everything will be verified.”
Several money agents have opened in different parts of South Africa. For most of them, for each R100 sent you pay R10.
Once you deposit the money with the agent in South Africa, within 10 minutes your relative in Zimbabwe is able to collect that money at the money agent’s office.
Zimbabwean Mqondisi Nkomo is one of those who has used this facility and says he finds it easy and convenient.
“It’s very reliable and very cheap, and efficient l may say, because you can actually decide now you want to send money home and the receiver can get it as soon as you send it home,” says Nkomo.
Another Zimbabweans national working in South Africa, Gift Zikhali, has also found it useful. “It is fast and very efficient and safe,” he says.
However, some still use buses or haulage trucks to send groceries and money home.
Despite the delays and loss of money and goods associated with the bus and truck drivers, they are still widely used and well suitable for friends and relatives living in rural Zimbabwe since these money agents are mainly based in cities.