The country’s Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) has a number plates backlog as the limited foreign currency situation has impacted on the importation of some material used in the manufacturing of the plates to meet the over growing demand.
The material used in the manufacturing of number plates is imported from Germany and the securing of this material has not been among priorities of imported essentials.
The motor vehicle number plates backlog comes as the motor vehicle population has exponentially grown over the past decade, thus also impacting on Zimbabwe’s import bill.
A drive around the city of Harare will inevitably take one to several car sales with thousands of unregistered motor vehicles, while some constantly making their way into the country.
With this reality on the ground and the current shortages of vehicle number plates, it is now prudent for authorities and entrepreneurs to invoke import substitution aspects of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme by recycling old number plates or use cheaper materials like plastic number plates which are used by several countries worldwide.
Lack of proper registration for the last two months have had a negative effect to business as some vehicles are for commercial purposes and could not be used.
The scenario could also increase cases of motor vehicle theft in the country.
The government could come up with a public private partnership (PPP) with companies that have capacity to recycle old number plates or explore manufacturing of plastic number plates.
The economic benefit will be that no jobs will be exported to Germany through the importation of raw materials and Zimbabwe’s trade deficit will be narrowed by elimination the importation of unnecessary things into the economy.