Wednesday 06 November 2019


Your Royal Highnesses

Honourable Ministers

Board of Directors of the ESPPRA

Commissioner General of the Eswatini Revenue Authority

Senior Government officials

Chief Executive Officer, management and staff of ESPPRA

Representatives of the World Bank and African Development Bank

Investors, Donor Agencies and Financiers

Representatives of Parastatals

Captains of Industry

Representatives of the Eswatini business sector

Members of the media

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good evening

I am honoured to join all of you this evening for this Eswatini Procurement Indaba dinner, marking the end of an important two day session of robust engagement.

The deliberations you held in the past two days may be long overdue, but are crucial in ensuring that procurement is consciously used as a vehicle to accelerate economic revival efforts and improve the lives of all Emaswati.

The World over, Governments are strengthening the processes, checks and balances of public procurement to help deliver public services with efficiency, ensuring public confidence in government is protected and enhanced.

A significant amount of government expenditure globally and especially in developing countries, is spent on the procurement of goods and services in order to achieve government’s social obligations to the citizenry. Governments are therefore a major player in public procurement and, with this buying power, are better poised to influence the conduct of public procurement. This is no different in our country.

Research has shown that the value of public procurement in the Kingdom of Eswatini is substantial and stood at E14 billion last year. This means a sizeable percentage of the national budget goes to public procurement, and a number of local companies, especially SMME’s, rely on government business to succeed and attain growth.

It therefore goes without saying that public procurement plays a pivotal role in national development and sustainable economic growth.

His Majesty’s Government views public procurement as a strategic function which can be leveraged to revitalize our economy. This can only be achieved when the procurement processes are transparent, consistent and efficient. It is fundamental and, of course, imperative to create a clear, effective and unambiguous procurement system devoid of clumsy bureaucratic procedures that impede fair competition.

In the process of fast-tracking economic renewal and sustainable growth, Government has identified public procurement as one of the strategic focus areas in the Government’s Strategic Roadmap 2018-23. We are cognizant of the need to forge viable partnerships with the private sector to enhance innovation and leverage on their business expertise to better achieve efficient public service delivery.

Government is currently looking at several procurement interventions, namely; using procurement as a tool for rationalising government expenditure, using the Private Public Partnership (PPP) model as an alternative model of financing government projects, and using procurement as a mitigating tool for corruption.



Government’s financial position does not always allow for the implementation of important national projects, hence widening the base of sourcing finance remains a viable option. Many Governments are attracted to the PPPs model since it has the capability of providing quality infrastructure and accessible public services without over stretching the public purse.  However, like many other financing models, there is always a need to align its advantages to the prevailing economic situation of the country to ensure it remains a useful financing tool.

One of the major challenges of Government procurement is its uncanny ability to inadvertently invite corruption. I hope your deliberations have identified all the gaps that unfavourably project procurement as the perfect platform for inducing bribes or inflating prices, and all forms of corruption. We cannot normalise such a scenario, and Government is determined to root out corruption with zero tolerance.  And to achieve that, both the public and private sector have an ethical role to play.

May I take this time to emphasize that Government is unyielding in its endeavour to ensure that all proceeds of corruption, and any other criminal activity, are traced and forfeited to the State. Government is aware that, if properly carried out, public procurement can be used as a tool to deter corruption. We look upon ESPPRA to ensure that public procurement follows all the necessary regulations and laws.

The role of Public Procurement Regulations as an enhancer, and not a deterrent of public procurement, cannot be over emphasized.

Programme Director, distinguished guests, may I take this opportunity to thank all of you for the insightful presentations and ideas you have shared over the course of this historic Indaba. My gratitude also goes to the organisers of this event for putting together such a compelling programme. This has enabled Eswatini to pave the way for public procurement to be used as a tool to deliver the best value for money in boosting economic growth.

Thank you. May God bless us all. 

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