Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini

 COAT OF ARMS

 

MINISTRY OF FINANCE

 

RE: EXTENSION OF MOTOR VEHICLE RENEWAL LICENCES ENDING 31ST MARCH 2020

The Ministry of Finance, Treasury Department wishes to inform the public that the renewal of Motor Vehicle Licenses ending 31st March 2020 has been extended to the 29th May 2020. This extension period will not attract any penalties.

In this regard the public is urged not to crowd the revenue offices but to adhere to the partial lock down announced by the Government in view of the COVID 19.

The Ministry has had discussions with the National Road Council and the National disaster task force for the transport industry and we have a Budget set aside to assist with a small subsidy to keep the industry going during this time.

Once again the Ministry wishes to encourage Emaswati to be safe and take the necessary precautions during this period.

 NEAL RIJKENBERG

MINISTER OF FINANCE

28 March 2020

The Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini

                                                                                                                              

MINISTRY OF FINANCE

 

RE: MEASURES TO BE TAKEN FOLLOWING THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION

A National  of Emergency was declared in Eswatini on the 17’th of March 2020. This was necessitated due to the rapid spread of the Corona Virus (Covid 19) across the globe. The primary crisis is one of Health due to the infection rate of this deadly virus and measures have been declared to try to curb the spread of the virus. The secondary crisis that Eswatini is facing, is an economical one. As the world economy slows down, stock exchanges crash, trade flows are curtailed and movement in countries is stopped, there is a need for Eswatini to put some measures in place to try and assist individuals and businesses that will be suffering the consequences of the economic crisis.

The following measures will be put in place:

  • Fuel prices will come down during the first week of April, however the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy is yet to finalize the calculations and will make the necessary announcement as usual.
  • The Central Bank has reduced the discount rate with 100 basis points that will reduce the cost of debt with 1%.
  • The Central Bank has reduced the liquidity requirement for the banks from 25% to 20% giving the banks more liquidity.
  • The Banks have announced that those individuals and companies that need short term financial support or relief can approach them and each application will be assessed on a risk based approach.
  • Provisional tax payments: Taxpayers projecting losses will file loss provisional returns, hence no payment will be required. The due date has been postponed by 3 months, which means June declarations and payments are due in September and December declarations due in March 2021.
  • Extension of returns filling deadlines by 3 months before penalties kick-in, otherwise normal filling is welcome.

October   -  SMEs without VAT                              -  pushed to January 2021

             November – Individuals                                         - pushed to February 2021

             December – LTP and VAT registered                  - pushed to March 2021

  • Payment arrangements: Taxpayers facing cash flow problems should provide evidence to be considered for payment arrangements. This only applies to current dues for Income Tax.
  • For old debts, SRA will waive of penalties and interest if principal is cleared by the end of September 2020. This applies to all debts (excluding Customs debt). This will assist taxpayers clear their old debts and accumulated interest and penalties and start on a clean slate for their businesses to enhance recovery.
  • A portion of the Capital budget  this year will be redirected towards urgently refurbishing hospitals and completing wings of new hospitals

        

The following are recommendations:

-The negotiations between the Public Sector Unions and the Government negotiating  team be settled as soon as possible for Civil Servants to be able to benefit from the budget allocation for COLA.

 - That the use of cash is reduced by the public moving over to electronic means of payments and transactions as soon as possible.

 -That the public do not fear a “shortage of cash”. The banking sector has enough   liquidity.

 More measures might be added in time depending on the level of the crisis. 

We plead with all Emaswati to unify against this virus and we encourage communities and households to support each other during this dark hour. This is not a time for political agendas, vendettas, propaganda or selfish ambitions but a time that our country can demonstrate Eswatini’s true strength of unity, peace and stability. 

NEAL RIJKENBERG

MINISTER OF FINANCE

23 March 2020

Speech by the HON. MINISTER FOR FINANCE, MP, NEAL RIJKENBERG 

at the official opening of the Procurement Indaba 2019

Tuesday 05 November, 2019

Royal Swazi Sun Convention Centre, EZulwini.

 

Members of both Houses of Parliament 

Chairman of ESPPRA

ESPPRA Board

CEO of ESPPRA;

Principal Secretaries 

Chairpersons of portfolio committees from various Ministries;

The CEOs present here today;

Senior Government officials

Representatives of social partner formations;

Experts and Academia in the procurement sphere;

Developmental partners

Esteemed entrepreneurs and investors;

Members of the Media;

Ladies and gentlemen

Good Morning to you all

1.    It is indeed an honour for us to be part of this grand gathering of fellow citizen and developmental partners where we are gathered to engage on how we can continue to use procurement as a tool for “accelerating economic recovery, growth and sustainable development through strategic public procurement and public private partnerships (PPPs)”. I am enthusiastic to notice such a number of participants in this great event.  It surely promises to be the success that it was planned to be.  

2.    Programme director, it is not an overstatement to speculate that, at times like these, we cannot afford to come here with either the sole purpose of protecting our respective turfs or scratching the surface but we are here for the simple reason that procurement, as a function, is a critical lever for our radical economic transformation efforts. Therefore, our gathering here for the next two days is not necessarily about the discussion of procurement at a theoretical level but about ensuring that, we optimally utilize procurement to breathe life to our ailing economy for the betterment of all Emaswati. 

3.    In this regard, we cannot afford to limit our engagement to the realm of our current reality, but to open our minds to the scope of that which exists beyond our reality to consider what is out there and to possibly improve on that to find out what could work the best for our unique environment and country. This Indaba is, therefore, a call for all of us to rethink the way we have been doing things. But, we must all admit that the current vehicle that is procurement has not delivered on the potential that it holds. 

4.  Ladies and Gentlemen, the very fact, for example, that the Eswatini public sector in the year 2017/2018 spent about E14 billion which accounts for 22% of the GDP to procure goods, works and services should make it automatic, given our developmental approach and the transformational pieces of legislation and policies, that Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises would thrive. The marginalized majority of our people should be drawn into the mainstream economy and we should see more and more people getting out of poverty. It is the task of this gathering not only to look at the root causes of this disconnect between the huge public sector investment and the slow emergence of successful entrepreneurs, but also to come up with workable and sustainable solutions to fixing it. 

5.Procurement has been identified as one of His Majesty’s Governments priority areas if we are to seriously reverse the current economic state of affairs.  This is so because government and public entities combined are a major procurer of goods, services and works in their quest to provide social benefit to the people of Eswatini and grow the economy.  I therefore want to challenge you distinguished delegates to have robust deliberations on how government can improve efficiency and effectiveness of the procurement system to achieve our national economic objectives. 

6. We are pleased to note that the private sector is also part of this Indaba and they will also share with us some of the creative and innovative approaches they have adopted to ensure that procurement takes forward the objectives of the National Development Strategy and the Eswatini Government Strategic Roadmap 2019-2023. In particular, we need to know how SMMEs and businesses benefit from public sector procurement. 

7. It would be amiss of me not to express my greatest appreciation for the support that the World Bank Group and Multipronged. our partners and sponsors have afforded us to ensure that the event is a success. 

8. Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, I now declare the Procurement Indaba 2019 officially opened. 

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