By Phephile Motau
To rebalance expenditures and reduce the size of the wage bill, the government plans to introduce early retirement schemes.
According to the NDP, to attain reduced expenditures, programmes that will be adopted include reviewing the government pay structures of the public sector to reward high performance and retain critical professional staff.
The government also plans to review organisational structures and carry out the restructuring of ministries, departments, and agencies where efficiencies can be created.
The government will also apply the performance management system (PMS) to improve human resource management in the public sector to identify poor and excellent performers and reward them accordingly.
On another note, Eswatini NDP plans to decrease national and youth employment to 20 per cent and 30 per cent respectively. Decreasing the unemployment rate from 23 per cent to 20 per cent by 2027 would mean the creation of 4 000 new jobs per year.
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Further, the government plans to decrease the number of youth not in employment, education or training from 35 per cent to 15 per cent by 2027.
According to the plan, this is one of the targets of the country having an increased employment stimulating investment. The other target of the same outcome is an increased investment towards vocational training in sectors such as agriculture, renewable energy, construction, services and manufacturing to absorb excess labour while adding value.
Another programme is deepening the collaboration between agencies responsible for education, training, youth affairs, labour and social security to work together on creating intervention measures and coordination implementation.
To ensure strengthened investments and mentorship for young entrepreneurs, the government plans to strengthen cooperative development for employment opportunities and review the MSME policy to incorporate mentorship for entrepreneurs.
The government also plans to review the Youth Enterprise Fund and other related financial entities to assess their effectiveness and implement corrective measures and establish strong mentorship programmes with businesses to groom young entrepreneurs.
Other programmes to ensure youth employment include the provision of regularly updated research and market information and providing youth with the same incentive package to remain competitive.
The government further aims to fully utilise the current infrastructure and capitalise on tourism and agriculture opportunities and promote entrepreneurship skills in climate-smart technologies including renewable energy retail and repair, agriculture value chain, recycling, and community waste solutions.
The NDP states that other programmes include supporting and promoting investment in the available economic zones, and promoting and financing investments into innovative technologies such as the business incubation programmes to enable youth employment creation.
Regional trade outside SACU
Eswatini plans to increase regional trade outside the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) to above five per cent per annum on average.
This is one of the key sectoral outcomes in the country’s bid to re-engineer economic growth for recovery.
According to the NDP, the first strategy to use will be to diversify the product base by developing agro-processing strengthen and value chains. The programmes to achieve this include the development of a comprehensive diversification strategy to complement the growth strategy and build the private sector diagnostic work done by the World Bank.
According to the plan, other programmes will include strengthening livestock breeding and improvement products and promoting investment towards the processing of crops and livestock products into finished goods in the value chain. This will assist the country to take advantage of new trade deals to boost the current product base.
Another intervention will be to review the single borrower limit regulations to allow for more credit in the agricultural sector. Other strategies for achieving the key sectoral outcome are extending support and trade facilitation measures offered to exporters and increasing marketing of Eswatini products internationally and locally.
The government also plans to strengthen the ease of doing business for investors to enhance competitiveness. This will be achieved through investing in trade facilitation measures to speed up processing at the borders to achieve 24-hour operations.
The programmes also include the improvement of border infrastructure including technological innovation to reduce cost and increase the speed of compliance systems at borders and investing in upgrading the quality of domestic transport infrastructure by investing in rail networks to ease pressures on roads and have regular maintenance.
Other strategies to increase nominal export growth to 12 per cent per year on average include exploring mining possibilities and value addition through beneficiation and climate-smart investments.