GOVERNMENT IN FULL SWING TO REVIVE ECONOMY

Six months into office, the new government has introduced its Strategic Road Map for 2019-2023 and the key ministries had declared to lead the economic revolution in the given time frame. The Ministry of Agriculture, which
is led by Minister Jabulani Mabuza, has articulated the ministry’s plan during the launch of the Strategic Road Map. Mabuza highlighted the significant role played by the agriculture sector saying it is one of the key players in employment with 12 per cent of employment contributing to the country. He said the ministry in its objectives plans to increase the employment rate to 15 per cent in the long run. The agriculture sector’s performance is mainly supported by the availability of dams with the minister saying they are looking at increasing the number of dams in the country to sustain the sector. He said 20 dams are to be constructed and those dams will cater for 32 000 hacters of commercial land. “As a ministry we are focusing to develop the LUSIP Dam and the Mkhondvo-Ngwavuma
Dam which will play a very crucial part in commercializing agriculture,” said Mabuza. Dairy production
Ensuring food security is one of the key focus areas of the ministry of Agriculture and to make that a reality;
the ministry is planning to invest much in dairy production where it tends to increase the milk production
from 18 million litres to 100 million litres. The minister added that beef production and processing needs to
be given special attention and the ministry is geared to promote it. Currently, Eswatini produces 11 000
metric tons and the ministry is aiming at increasing it to 16 000 metric tons. In addition, goats’ meat production
is expected to be improved from the paltry 16.225 metric tonnes to 25 000 metric tonnes. Energy meanwhile, the ministry of Natural Resources and Energy is set to catapult the energy and mining sectors to greater heights. Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Peter Bhembe said these areas are going to be engines of economic
growth in the country if necessary strategies are implemented. Bhembe said as a ministry they are planning to help the country to generate its own power supply whereby it will try to generate electricity through solar, biomass and later wind. He added that the ministry is looking at producing 40 megawatts of sola and biomass power and 300 megawatts of power generated though fossil fuels. Bhembe said the country needs a fuel economy and an oil reserve
will be constructed. “Construction of the oil reserve will commence before the end of the current financial year,” said Bhembe. On the mining part, the minister said the country stands to benefit a lot from this sector. He said there are plans to revive the mining sector of which the government is planning to reopen the Ngwenya Iron Ore mine. This will on the other hand create employment opportunities for the Eswatini nation. The re-opening of the mine is targeting to ensure that the country can produce steel to avoid importing it. In the same vein, the Deputy Prime Minister’s office has called for collaboration of key stakeholders in achieving the set goals in the
Strategic Road Map for 2019-2023. The DPM, Themba Masuku said his office wants to ensure that poverty reduction is placed at the core of development in the country. He said social safety nets would be made available to all those citizens who deserve them. He highlighted that elderly grants, disability grants, free treatment for the elderly, Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Fund, and Regional Development Fund are all key priorities for his office.
“All these initiatives are placed to make sure that all Emaswati benefit from them and to eradicate all the
socio-economic setbacks that affect the marginalized members of our society,” said Masuku.

….10 000 JOBS PER YEAR

The Prime Minister, Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini has promised that government will create about 10 000 jobs per year in the next five years. Effectively, 50 000 jobs would be created in the five year period henceforth. This was revealed during the launch of Eswatini Strategic Roadmap 2019-2023 at Royal Swazi Sun Convention Centre. The
strategy is in line with the King’s vision of Eswatini to attain first world status by 2022. “This Strategic Roadmap is a culmination of extensive research and consultations on feasible quick wins combined with long term goals as directed by the King’s pronouncement, “he said. According to the Prime Minister, the jobs will come from, but not limited to agriculture, tourism, education information and communication technology, manufacturing
and mining and energy. The strategy is a new range of measures that have the most potential to kick-start the
journey to economic revival and inclusive growth.” This journey should not leave anyone behind, and whose success depends on the collective commitment of all of us gathered here, and all Emaswati in Eswatini and in the diaspora, “said Dlamini. He added, “However, the plan to action will amount to nothing if we do not ensure that all resources
are channeled to national development, social cohesion and stability instead of personal accounts”. Dlamini stated that as Eswatini’s government they commit to step intentionally into a firm path of economic renewal and inclusive
growth, driven by the need to create a better life for all Emaswati and restore confidence in the strength and resilience of our economy. Furthermore Dlamini plead Emaswati as per His Majesty’ s pronouncement during the Sibaya dialogue in October 2018, to work tirelessly to revive the economy in the shortest possible time by doing the necessary research that will lead to viable economic renewal strategies. “In his Speech from the Throne in February
this year, His Majesty King Mswati III commanded us to come with strategies and ideas that; “will turn our challenges into great economic opportunities, “he said. These challenges include unemployment, poverty, and sustainable economic development, provision of quality health services, education and social welfare for all Emaswati. Moreover, Dlamini said the challenges that the country is facing may seem daunting, but with the support of all Emaswati and international friends and partners, the country have no reason to doubt resolve.” Together we will turn the tide and achieve the noble objective of uplifting the living standards of all Emaswati across our beautiful land, “he said.

COTTON INDUSTRY CAN CURB UNEMPLOYMENT

The Minister of Agriculture Jabulani ‘Buy Cash’ Mabuza has assured the nation that the cotton industry has an opportunity to create employment only if the country can meet the ginnery’s estimated 25 metric tonnes. The minister was speaking during the recent tour of the Cotton Ginnery, Nisela Farms and Eswatini Citrus Estate. Mabuza said that indicators are pointing out that the cotton market is still assured for local cotton farmers. Mabuza urged all Eswatini cotton farmers to make sure that they produce more and high quality cotton which surely will reward them, the cotton industry hence the economy of the country will be enhanced. As of note, the cotton industry in 2018 did very well in terms of harvest as a number of cotton farmers managed to harvest slightly more than what
was expected. “The opportunities are very strategic for us as a ministry as we have been challenged significantly to the growth of the Eswatini economy and create adequate employment opportunities for all Emaswati,” said Mabuza.
In addition, Mabuza highlighted that it was high time that the cotton industry reclaims its rightful position
in the economy of the country as it used to years back. It was during the tour where the minister learnt that the country has 250 hecters of land where the Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) cotton is grown under a demonstration phase. GMO technology is proving to be one of the potential solutions to the revival of the cotton industry and the cotton ginnery which is currently operating below the recommended capacity. “What we have observed during the
tour is that the cotton industry has a future in Eswatini. All that is needed is the amendment of the Biosafety
Act which I am pleading with my portfolio members to support its tabling before parliament,” he said.

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