Ngwenya still busiest trading border post for Eswatini, SA

Traffic enroute to Ngwenya Border Post.

By Silindzelwe Nxumalo

THE Oshoek border post continues to be the busiest trading border between Eswatini and South Africa as of August 2023, with a total of E3.06 billion exports exported by South Africa to Eswatini and Eswatini to SA.

According to the statistics provided by the SA High Commission, in the same month, the exports made by Eswatini to SA through the Oshoek border post were worth E1.63 billion while the exports made by SA to Eswatini were worth E1.43 billion.

The Oshoek border was followed by the Lavumisa/ Golela border where a total of E1.2 billion for August in both countries. The exports made by Eswatini to South Africa through the Golela border were at E550 million while the exports made by South Africa to Eswatini were worth E657 million.

The third busiest border is the Mahamba border where the exports made by Eswatini to South Africa were worth E64.5 million while those made by South Africa to Eswatini were worth E113 million in August 2023.
The fourth busiest border was the Mananga border where exports from Eswatini to South Africa were worth E57.3 million while those exported by SA to Eswatini through the border were worth E49.1 million in August.

The statistics also show that the fifth busy border post is the Jeppes Reef border where exports made by Eswatini to SA in August 2023 were worth E24.4 million. The Johannesburg border was also noted to be the third busiest for South Africa as the exports exported by them to Eswatini through that border were worth E114 million.

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According to these statistics, the trade between the two countries is seen to be thriving as Eswatini was currently exporting 74 per cent of its goods and services to South Africa and in August 2023 Eswatini alone the country exported E2.32 billion worth of goods.

South Africa on the other hand exported E2.36 billion to Eswatini in August 2023. All these were done in the country’s top five busy borders. South African High Commissioner in Eswatini Advocate Thoko said both the South African and Eswatini economies were benefitting from growing trade between the two countries.

She stated that the main products that Eswatini was exporting to South Africa were scented mixtures for E5.76 billion, raw sugar for E4.27 billion, and industrial fatty acids, oils, and alcohols for E2.3 billion in the year 2022.

The High Commissioner said South Africa exported E25.54 billion worth of goods to Eswatini in 2022.
She said the main products that South Africa exported to Eswatini were mineral fuels, oils, distillation products petroleum worth E3.87 billion, vehicles for E 1.64 billion, machinery and boilers E1.58 billion, and electricity.

SA High Commissioner in Eswatini Advocate Thoko Sipamla and the Minister of Commerce Industry and Trade Manqoba Khumalo during a recent meeting.

“Eswatini was South Africa’s 19th-largest export market and 21st-largest import source in 2022. South Africa’s exports to Eswatini increased by 11.2 per cent in 2022 as compared to 2021, while its imports from Eswatini increased by 22.9 per cent,” she said

She also stated that South Africa was by far Eswatini’s main trading partner, accounting for 84 per cent of its total trade followed by Kenya at 4 per cent, Nigeria at 3 per cent, and Mozambique at two per cent. “The main destination markets for Eswatini’s exports were South Africa at 74 per cent followed by Kenya, Nigeria, and Mozambique,” she said.

She added that there was a trade surplus of E2.619 billion for South Africa and a trade deficit of E2.619 billion for Eswatini in 2022. “When Eswatini’s export market was analysed, in 2020 almost 77 per cent of the country’s total annual exports were destined for SADC countries, and this trend continues,” she said.

Furthermore, the High Commissioners said Eswatini also continues to be identified as one of the top five inbound African markets by South African Tourism. She said from a tourism perspective, there had been a 124.5 per cent increase in tourists from South Africa visiting Eswatini in the period January to September 2022, as opposed to the same period in 2021.

“This statistic reflects an amount of 232 651 South African tourists visiting Eswatini during the January to September 2022 period, compared to 103 609 during the same period in 2021. An increase of 129 042,” she said. She stated that although exact destinations were difficult to obtain, a total of 460 477 Eswatini citizens left the country during the period January to September 2022, as opposed to 204 243 during the same period in 2021.

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“This was an increase of 125.5 per cent and it should be noted that the vast majority were destined for visits to South Africa,” she said. The Minister of Commerce Industry and Trade Manqoba Khumalo said the submissions that were made at the Sibaya were of very importance to him as what came out very clearly was that the levels of unemployment in the country were not sustainable and unacceptable.

Khumalo stated that it was important for the two governments to look at their trade relations and investment programs with the view of ensuring that the two countries benefit from the relationship. He said his deep desire was that the private sector lead the country’s economy.

“Yes, the government will do infrastructure expansion and create a conducive environment, but what will really move a little is whether the private sector is able to grow,” he said. He said the key things that the two countries should be engaging in would be discussing the next level of growth in the mining industry that they need to look at as there were more SA getting licenses in Eswatini, and what more could be done in the agricultural sector.

The minister stated that the country was currently struggling with importing beef and dairy cows due to disease constraints which have led to industries paralysed in the county.

Exports from Eswatini to SA for August 2023:
Border:                    The worth of Exports:

1. Oshoek                E1.43 billion
2. Golela                  E550 million
3. Mahamba            E64.5 million
4. Mananga            E57.3 million
5. Jeppes Reef       E24.4 million

Exports from SA to Eswatini for August 2023
Border                      The worth of Exports:

1. Oshoek                E1.43 billion
2. Golela                  E657 million
3. Johannesburg    E114 million
4. Mahamba            E113 million
5. Mananga            E49.1 million
(Article from Eswatini Daily News)

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