GOVERNMENT PRESS STATEMENT NO: 24/2019 Petitions and proposed strike action called by Public Service Unions Introduction The Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini has developed an Economic Recovery Strategy and Plan of Action to improve the quality of life for all Emaswati. We are aware of the challenges of the past and are committed to encouraging economic growth to provide for the future. The Kingdom of Eswatini needs to improve business confidence and encourage local and foreign investment to generate the revenues necessary to sustain our economy. We need to create employment for all rather than threaten the employment of those who are already employed. Economic Recovery In a very short space of time Government has achieved significant progress towards economic recovery. The private sector has responded well to the positive investment climate and demonstrated a huge appetite for investment in Eswatini. Proposed Strike Action Public Sector unions have served notice to take part in strike action from 23 September 2019. There is absolutely nothing that can be achieved by strike action • From 2007-2012 the total cost of civil servant salaries increased by approximately 51%; • From 2012-2016 the total cost of civil servant salaries increased by approximately 85% which included a 17% pay increase in 2016 for civil servants over and above the regular COLA and notch increases; • Economic growth during this period was insufficient to sustain these increases. Government appreciates the valuable contributions made by civil servants. However, increases of the wage bill are unsustainable until the economy generates the revenues necessary to afford it. Strike action at the expense of the education of our children and the health and safety of our people will achieve nothing more than the loss of wages for those who participate in the strike. Government will continue to implement the Economic Recovery Strategy and Implementation Plan to ensure improved service delivery and sustainable economic growth with employment opportunities, salary increases and quality of life for all Emaswati. Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) Government has been informed by the Government Negotiations Team that represents government at the negotiations table, that negotiations with Public Sector Associations have once again reached a deadlock. At the negotiations table on Friday, Government’s offer of a minimum salary increment of 3% effective 1st April, 2020 was rejected by the Public Sector Associations. Instead, they made a counter demand of 9.5% broken down as follows: 4.5% for the 2017/2018; 5% for the year 2018/2019. They further said negotiations would still be held for increments for the years 2019/2020 and 2020/2021. Government finds these demands unaffordable and unreasonable at a time when Government is facing serious financial challenges, which state of affairs has been adequately explained to the unions and the nation at large. The offer by Government will remain on the negotiations table and will only be withdrawn automatically when the proposed strike action commence. Conclusion Schools, hospitals, clinics and all Government services will be open as usual on 23 September 2019. Civil servants are advised to work without fear of intimidation or victimization. Police protection will be provided. Civil servants who take part in strike action are advised that the principle of no-work-no-pay shall apply. Parties engaging in protest action and the delivery of petitions are advised to comply with the provisions of the Public Order Act. Christian Ntshangase Minister of Public Service 22 September 2019







  • The Honourable Prime Minister,
  • Honourable Ministers ,
  • Ms Zhuldyz Akisheva - Regional Representative United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for Southern Africa
  • Mr Fitz-Roy Drayton- Advisor ( UNODC)
  • Ms Nathalie Ndongo- UN Resident Coordinator
  • The Attorney General
  • The Director of Public Prosecutions
  • The Commissioner General of the Eswatini Revenue Authority
  • The Commissioner of Anti-Corruption Commission
  • The National Commissioner of Police
  • The Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit
  • Principal Secretaries
  • Senior Government officials

The Ministry of Justice & Constitutional Affairs expresses its gratitude to His Excellency  the  Right  Honorable  Prime  Minister  and  esteemed  members  of the  Asset  Recovery  Committee  appointed  in  terms  of  Section  68  of  the Prevention of Organized Crimes Act 2018 (the POCA) for convening this very important  initial  meeting  of  the  Asset  Recovery  Committee.  I  am  also delighted  to  recognize  and  welcome  delegates  from  the  United  Nations Office  on  Drugs  and  Crime  (UNODC)  and  Asset  Recovery  Network  of Southern Africa (ARINSA)

ARINSA, I am advised, is a network for cooperation and mutual assistance in respect of asset recovery matters in Southern Africa. Eswatini has been a member of ARINSA since 2009. Throughout this period, the Kingdom has received tremendous support and technical assistance from the Network. A number of agencies have benefited from this assistance, which includes inter alia, the Royal Eswatini Police Service and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Currently the Kingdom of Eswatini is nursing an ailing economy and corruption has been fingered as one of the main causes of the economic downturn. Prior to the enactment of the POCA criminals were able to hold on to ill-gotten gains or property , which made our efforts to combat crime and corruption almost impossible and difficult.


Today   is   also   the   inaugural   meeting   of   the   Criminal   Assets   Recovery Committee established in terms of S68 of the Prevention of Organized Crime Act 2018. The members of the Committee are:

  • The Minister responsible for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, who is the chairperson of the Committee;
  • The Minister responsible for the police, his Excellency the Right Honourable Prime Minister
  • The Minister responsible for Finance
  • The Attorney General
  • The Director of Public Prosecutions
  • The Commissioner of the Eswatini Revenue Authority
  • The Commissioner of Anti-Corruption Commission
  • The National Commissioner of Police

(i) The Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit

The Prevention of Organized Crimes Act serves as a tool to combat Organized Crime, Money Laundering and Criminal gang activities and corruption. It provides a mechanism for the recovery of proceeds or instrumentalities of crime in general. The funds collected will be used in the fight against crime.

May I report Your Excellency that due to limited resources, the Ministry of Justice assembled a temporal structure within the Ministry to function as the Asset Recovery Unit.? Due to the high volume of cases we now see the need

to have a permanent unit established including a secretariat for the Criminal Assets Recovery Committee as well as the Witness Protection Unit. The Asset Forfeiture Unit has done a considerable amount of work in its short time in operation. To date a number of assets are in preservation and others have been forfeited. The Committee will today receive a full report in this regard.

Your Excellency, our ultimate goal as a ministry in the fight against organized crime, corruption, human trafficking, wildlife crimes and sexual offenses, domestic violence and crime in general is not how well we respond and prosecute individuals who commit such crimes, but our true success as a nation lies in preventing these crimes from happening in the first place.

Your Excellency, the prevention of organized crime is very important and will require the active collaboration of all the members of this Committee as well as regional and international cooperation among countries. As the Ministry of Justice we remain committed to ensuring full implementation of the Prevention of Organized Crime Act.


Hence our request to Cabinet to which His Majesty’s Government gladly acceded, that the Dar es Salaam Declaration on strengthening Asset forfeiture for Development be signed, through which the Kingdom will be strengthened to combat crime.

Your Excellency, the Ministry is therefore grateful for the support received from His Majesty’s Government and the Kingdom’s development partners. We are optimistic that our efforts will now be enhanced and yield the anticipated results.

Thank you.








Honourable Ministers

Members of the Diplomatic Corps

Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Dr Vera Songwe;

SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax;

Permanent Secretaries and Senior Government Officials

Representatives of the African Union, SADC, and COMESA;

United Nations Resident Coordinator in Eswatini, Ms Nathalie Ndongo-Seh;

Representatives of United Nations Agencies in Southern Africa;

Representatives of OXFAM and other International and Non-Governmental Organizations;

Representatives of Private Sector, Civil Society Organizations, Academia and Research Institutions;

Members of the media;                                                                           

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

I’m honoured to be with you today on this 25th session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts of Southern Africa. On behalf of His Majesty’s Government, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all our distinguished visitors and guests.  

May I commend the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa for accepting our offer to host this meeting themed, ‘Strategies and policies for the integration of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in the industrialization process in Southern Africa.’ This theme highlights our shared interest in developing Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), and the crucial need for our countries to accelerate industrialization and structural transformation processes.


MSMEs are undeniably the heartbeat of many economies across the globe, especially in rapidly developing countries. They are a key engine of growth and an important source of job creation and innovation. They are the foundation for private sector growth and expansion. Their potential to promote domestic-led growth in new and existing industries and to strengthen the resilience of the economy in a competitive and challenging environment is beyond any doubt. Evidence shows that they not only promote industrial development but accelerate the achievement of wider socio-economic objectives. Many large enterprises commence their life cycle as start-ups, before scaling up into market leaders.

MSMEs are widely recognised as cornerstones for economic development with the potential to significantly accelerate industrialisation and high value addition processes provided that their entrepreneurial spirit is nurtured. Clearly, this is the reason why Eswatini and many governments and organizations are focussing on supporting their growth. This support comes through targeted schemes and resources and the facilitation of market access, helping them to develop and adopt new technologies and innovations.

We, in Eswatini, appreciate the strategic importance of the MSME sector to the sustainable economic development of our Nation. This is duly reflected in Government’s Vision 2022 – to position the country in the top 10% of the medium human development group of countries. Accordingly, we have developed a National Development Strategy (NDS) and a Strategic Roadmap that emphasizes the power of the sector to deliver broad-based and inclusive economic growth.

The MSME sector has a major role to play towards fulfilling the objectives of our Strategic Roadmap mainly in spurring economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation. Currently, the MSME landscape in the country is highly skewed towards enterprises with low value addition. Our MSMEs operate predominantly in the wholesale and agricultural sectors, with about 40 per cent in the wholesale sector and 23 per cent in the agriculture sector. Only around 13 per cent operate in the manufacturing sector.

It is for this reason that we are implementing far reaching reforms to reverse this distribution pattern. This will help to significantly increase the share of high value firms. The current distribution of firms also suggests the crucial need to strengthen inter-sectoral linkages that will enable MSMEs to join the various value chains and contribute effectively to industrialisation and economic transformation processes, regardless of their primary sector of activity.

His Majesty’s Government, through the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade (MCIT) recently conducted a review of our MSME National Policy. This strategic decision encapsulates our desire to trigger structural shifts towards an entrepreneurial economy. The review process was driven by our vision of making MSMEs competitive and of ensuring that the sector becomes the backbone of our economy.  

The primary objective of the revised MSME National Policy is to create a modern, comprehensive, targeted and coherent framework that will create a highly profitable entrepreneurial sector, characterised by innovative, competitive and sustainable businesses, supported by an enabling institutional and regulatory environment. I believe that this new Policy framework will help to infuse resilience and productivity to the MSME sector through the emergence of innovative and globally competitive firms for value addition, job creation and sustainable economic growth.

Distinguished Guests, ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today because of our shared and common interest of enhancing socio-economic development in our region and that of the continent at large. We all recognise the need to industrialize and transform our economies through integration. This we cannot achieve without seeking effective ways to involve and empower our MSMEs.

Of course, we must capitalize on our achievements in the region. That also means we must assess the state and progress of our individual strategies and policies. Without any doubt, this is a gradual and continuous process. We need to share our experiences as well as new developments and prospects. You are well aware of the enormous potential and immense opportunities that are available in our region.

It is known to you that some of the major constraints that impede MSMEs’ contribution to industrial development, require a concerted and cooperative approach. These issues and challenges include, low penetration to regional and global markets, inability of MSMEs to leverage regional value chains, skills - including digital and management skills, and financial and infrastructure constraints, to mention just a few. Digital skills are of growing importance as an increasing number of activities and transactions along the value chains are digitized, especially with the advent of the fourth industrial revolution.

As you know, access to financing is one of the major constraints to MSME growth.

Generally, limited access to credit prevents firms, especially micro-enterprises from capitalising on economic benefits and opportunities, including higher productivity, the opportunity to upgrade to higher value-added production and greater demand for products.

Here in Eswatini, one of the mechanisms that we have introduced to ease access to finance to MSMEs is the Small-Scale Enterprise Loan Guarantee Scheme. Through this Scheme, businesses are able to obtain a guarantee for a loan up to a certain amount, with government providing a guarantee of about 95 per cent of the loan. It is not perfect, but we are working to improve it to ensure it is more impactful and effective. In fact, easing small business access to finance by using alternative and innovative financing schemes is part of our Micro Finance Policy, Financial Sector Development Implementation Plan and National Financial Inclusion Strategy.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, as I conclude let me extend to you my best wishes for a successful and fruitful meeting. I look forward to hearing practical recommendations that can help us attain the goal of increased and effective participation by MSMEs in our efforts to spur industrialization and achieve sustainable economic growth and prosperity in our region.

 It now gives me pleasure, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, to declare this meeting officially open.

Thank you.






Honourable Ministers,

Principal Secretaries,

National Commissioner of Police

Attorney General

Director of Public Prosecutions

United Nations Resident Coordinator in Eswatini, Ms Nathalie Ndongo-Seh

Regional Representative United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for Southern Africa, Ms Zhuldyz Akisheva

Advisor of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mr Fitz-Roy Drayton

Commissioner General of Eswatini Revenue Authority

Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission

Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit

Senior Government Officials

Members of the media

Good morning

May I take this opportunity to welcome our visiting guests to the Kingdom of Eswatini and all present here to the Cabinet offices.

I am happy and honoured to be part of this historic occasion which marks the first meeting of the Asset Recovery Committee established following the passing of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA) by Parliament in August last year.

Today we are also witnessing the signing of the Dar es Salaam Declaration on Strengthening Asset Forfeiture for Development. 

We will recall that POCA was enacted in compliance with Conventions signed by the country in its fight against corruption and organized crime. Indeed, the passing of POCA marked a new era in the fight against corruption and organized crime in the Kingdom of Eswatini. Early this year the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs established the Asset Recovery Fund where all money received from asset recovery processes will be deposited.

POCA is a statute that cuts across the spectrum on asset forfeiture and enables the Kingdom to comply with international instruments such as: The United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances 1988 (Vienna Convention) and The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (the TOC Convention) formally adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in November 2000 and signed by the Kingdom of Eswatini in the same year.

The Kingdom signed The United Nations Convention against Corruption in September 2012.

It is therefore imperative at national and international level that the country intensifies efforts to combat serious, organized and other transnational offences.

The most important and vital element of curbing this web of crime is to deprive criminals of the benefits derived from criminal activity.

Our commitment to fighting all manner and forms of criminality is unyielding. Criminals are always finding innovative ways of evading arrest and prosecution and we need to stay ahead. May I warn them to desist from their illicit ways failure to which there will be no compromises and they will face the full wrath of the law.

Government remains determined to fight corruption and all its remnants. We continue to appeal to the public to help our law enforcement agencies identify and isolate criminals and all those engaged or associated with corruption. ‘Nawe uliphoyisa’.

Proceeds of any criminal activity will be traced and forfeited to the State. As a country we cannot afford to lose any cent through crime and corruption if we are to fulfill our goal of economic transformation and development.

His Majesty’s Government is grateful to our partners; the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Assets Recovery Network of Southern Africa (ARINSA) and others for their assistance in ensuring that this mandate of fighting organised crime and corruption is fulfilled.

We appreciate the healthy relationship we enjoy with all our international friends and partners, and this occasion of the signing of the Declaration shows our commitment to put every effort in curbing the scourge of crime in all its forms and manner.

Government will continue to support all moves to fight criminality and will provide the necessary resources at our disposal to keep crime and corruption out of our society and enable the country to prosper and maintain peace and stability.

Thank you.


                                                                  MR AMBROSE MANDVULO DLAMINI

                                                AT THE OFFICIAL CLOSING OF THE ESWATINI INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR 2019

                                                              MAVUSO TRADE & EXHIBITION CENTRE, MANZINI

                                                                    MONDAY 09 SEPTEMBER 2019



Your Royal Highnesses


Honourable Ministers

Excellencies Members of the Diplomatic Corps

Regional Administrator

Honourable Members of both Houses of Parliament

Mayor of Manzini;

Exhibitors and Sponsors of the Eswatini International Trade Fair

Members of the media

Distinguished Guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen.


It is my honour and pleasure, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, to welcome you all to this ceremony and to perform the official closing of the 51st edition of the Eswatini International Trade Fair.

May I from the onset pass my sincere gratitude to His Majesty King Mswati III for officially opening the Eswatini International Trade Fair and giving an important strategic direction in terms of business engagements for Government, the Private Sector and the Public Sector.

His Majesty mentioned vital elements that will inform the next chapter for trade within Eswatini, in Africa and other international markets. With access to global markets, Emaswati should be able to fully comprehend that our trading markets are not just limited within the country but now extend beyond our borders. The Ingwenyama stressed the need for Emaswati to look beyond our borders in conducting business, with an emphasis on our continent Africa. He said (I quote) “Africa, with a population of more than one billion consumers and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than US$3 trillion, should be our primary trading terrain as Emaswati” (Unquote).

With the launch of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area and other trade agreements that Eswatini has secured with international blocs, we indeed emphasize the point that Eswatini is Open for Business. We also articulate the need for the full utilization of all our available trade agreements in fulfillment of the objectives of His Majesty’s Government, as stipulated in the Strategic Roadmap - to be a private sector and an export driven economy.

We recognize the importance of creating an environment where businesses have all the opportunities at their disposal to thrive, innovate and create sustainable jobs, especially Medium and Small Enterprises.

The Eswatini International Fair continues to provide a platform for domestic and export trade, as evidenced by the hosting of over 20 international companies at this year’s Trade Fair. I hope Emaswati took advantage of these business opportunities availed by the 2019 Trade Fair by forging strategic linkages and partnerships with companies already trading in international markets.

This is not to say the local domestic market is not important, as we are all aware that Eswatini remains a net importer of goods and services. I trust that this year’s Trade Fair has unpacked opportunities for turning the economy and country to be a net exporter of goods and services. While others see opportunities to send goods into Eswatini, let us grab these opportunities by supporting local suppliers of same, while exploiting all available prospects of exporting our produce.

I have been reliably informed that we have over 200 exhibitors and vendors, with 22 foreign exhibitor companies from countries such as Taiwan, Indonesia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, USA, Lesotho and Botswana. I take this opportunity to thank all our international exhibitors for showcasing their products in Eswatini.

I hope you have not only engaged in profitable business while here but were able to identify what Eswatini business can offer you for your own business expansion.

I extend my hearty congratulations to all exhibitors who have made this Eswatini International Trade Fair 2019 a resounding success. I have no doubt most of you made direct sales and expanded your reach over the past 10 days. As Government we advocate for business linkages and partnerships that extend beyond the days of the Trade Fair.

I also take this opportunity to thank all the Trade Fair sponsors and partners for their support in ensuring that the private sector and the public are presented with such valuable platforms for business growth, expansion and product diversification.

May I also thank and congratulate the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade and the Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority for hosting another successful event and for consistently promoting trade and investment.

Congratulations to all the exhibitors who have shown excellence in their stands in all the different categories. As a sign of recognizing their good work, today we will award them with the Stand Excellence Awards. This year showcased a very competitive exhibition as most companies went an extra mile to show that Eswatini is indeed ready for first world status.

Most of the exhibition stands mimic what you would generally find in international exhibitions and expos, mainly in first world countries.

It is now my honour, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, to declare the 2019 Eswatini International Trade Fair officially closed. I would however like to emphasize that business continues in Eswatini as we are only closing this assembly.

Eswatini remains open for Business.

Thank you. May God bless us all.  

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