Govt refutes Swazi bailout date claims

2012-08-28 09:00

Johannesburg - The National Treasury denied reports on Monday that South Africa would release the first tranche of a R2.5bn bailout to Swaziland in September.

The media had falsely interpreted a response by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to a parliamentary question as saying the payment would definitely be made next month, the Treasury said in a statement.

"This is not true. Negotiations by financial authorities of the two countries are still underway," it said.

"The September 2012 reference in the minister's reply... was in terms of an intended payment schedule, which... was subject to the conclusion of negotiations by financial authorities of the two countries."

According to Reuters, the first tranche of three equal payments of R800m would be subject to Swaziland meeting certain fiscal and technical conditions.

The loan was negotiated last year when the Swaziland government faced a funding crisis after losing 60% of its revenue from a regional customs union.

The revenue usually accounted for two-thirds of the country's income.

The announcement of the bailout was criticised by South African organisations and unions because of King Mswati III's lavish lifestyle and his crackdown on organisations seeking democratic reform.

Political parties were banned from the country by King Ngwenyama Sobhuza II in 1973.

  • jennifer.d.martin.750 - 2012-08-30 18:22

    where have all the comments gone?

  • angela.fields.3910 - 2012-09-24 14:50

    And how does HRH expect to repay this exorbitant bailout, that’s if it ever gets approved? I sincerely hope our FM, Pravin Gordhan considers the proper use of South African’s tax payers money. Following 1. HRH lavish spending habits 2. His totalitarian governance 3. Only 35% of his population are paying taxes 4. 65% are jobless and living under extreme poverty 5. High death rates, with over 45% affected with HIV/AIDS 6. No tourist attraction to boost the economy 7. Political instability deters foreign investors They way I see it the country has absolutely no collateral to bargain with; it cannot even pay off its current national debts. So it’s unfathomable for any country to consider throwing good money after bad. Not unless SA intends on holding the entire Swazi Kingdom as collateral, which of course will open up a whole new can of worms…

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