The Zimbabwean government says it will lift a ban on some imported products from South Africa, a year after it was first imposed.
The ban triggered angry demonstrations, some of them violent, by cross-border traders. Industry Minister Mike Bimha says the ban, imposed last June, had achieved its purpose. State media is reporting that the minister told a meeting of government officials and industry leaders the ban had cut the import bill and boosted local industry.
But he also said Zimbabwean producers were now facing threats of retaliation from some trading partners, including South Africa and Zambia. The ban on things like body lotion, potato crisps and building materials was opposed by many who survive on importing goods for resale.
In a statement, the Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation welcomed the lifting of the ban, saying vendors had suffered heavily under it.