By Khulile Thwala
Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku has attributed the increase in the SACU receipts to emaSwati’s heightened compliance with tax declaration requirements.
Speaking to Eswatini Financial Times, the DPM articulated how emaSwati had significantly played a major role in adhering to the tax declaration obligations at the different border posts and otherwise.
“EmaSwati have shown great dedication and resilience to ensure the development of this country through adhering to the stipulated guidelines made available and established by policymakers. This has shown the formidable reception people have had on the prioritization of SACU in the country,” stated Masuku.
He said the National Budget’s reflection of the SACU input should encourage emaSwati to continue to be transparent in their cross-border business and trade as this was yielding positive results for the country.
“This did not just drop from the sky but it is because emaSwati collectively declared when at the border. Many emaSwati who do business in South Africa have become aware that presenting and not hiding receipts at the border gates is actually a pivotal aspect of the country’s economic expansion. We want to encourage emaSwati to be transparent and listen to what the policymakers say because not everyone will know the advantages of declaring the purchased items from South Africa until they are well-informed by the relevant parties. In this government, as policymakers we are teaching people the importance of this and the results thereof,” said the country’s deputy premier.
Meanwhile, Masuku says the fiscal discipline has been extremely high and the National Budget is a clear indication of that, particularly in the mining sector.
“If you look at what the King said in the Speech from the Throne, the budget was tailored to address the important issues the King articulated. The King highlighted job creation for the youth and further emphasised the importance of implementing capital projects.
“What was very significant in the budget was that it opened the eyes of many to show that the youth are not neglected and have never been. There needs to be awareness in matters of the youth, such as the fact that 14 200 people currently enrolled at tertiary institutions are youth, it should also be considered that the factories that are expected to start up, the majority to be hired are the youth,” said Masuku.
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He said this meant the youth are the main focus, as there are also other initiatives such as the recently launched youth entrepreneurial partnership programme between the government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as well as initiatives propelled by the private sector.
“The budget shows that the youth area is being taken care of,” he said.
He further highlighted other areas of interest which show that the country is heading for major development, such as the 20 per cent increase in Free Primary Education (FPE) tuition as well as the increase in budget allocation for the elderly and those living with disabilities to upsurge the number of beneficiaries.
“This means the government is on the right track and all we need is to support government as this government was elected by the people,” remarked the DPM.