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WATCH | Crossing the food border: handy South African app lets Zimbabweans send food home

11 June 2020 - 08:00 By Deepa Kesa

Malaicha.com is an app created in April 2019 that allows people in SA to buy groceries for their relatives in Zimbabwe.

The idea for the app was inspired by Zimbabweans living and working in SA, who for decades have been paying bus and taxi drivers to deliver food to their relatives back home. The word malaicha is Ndebele slang for this traditional method of sending goods over the border.

This method is costly and unreliable - and has now become impossible with Covid-19 lockdowns in both countries. With cross-border movement restricted, the app has been a blessing for thousands of clients in SA and Zimbabwe.

Malaicha previously handled an average of 20,000 to 30,000 orders a month, but that number rose by about 200% in April 2020 because of the lockdown, according to MD Sayjil Magan. Magan said they were looking at expanding the service to other African countries which have similar requirements.

The company started in Zimbabwe, where there was a clear need.