Sibaya report is out!
LOBAMBA – Swazis want salaries for members of the Border Restoration Committee (BRC) stopped.
This was a recommendation made to His Majesty King Mswati III at the recent People’s Parliament – Sibaya.
According to a report of the proceedings, as compiled by Nhlanhla Dlamini, the National Secretary, speakers said government must implement this particular submission to show commitment towards reviving the country’s ailing economy.
As an option, the concerned Swazis suggested that the salaries paid to BRC members should be given to historians because their efforts were far important than the otherwise futile exercise mandated to the BRC.
They believe the authors could do a far better job of tracing Swaziland’s original boundaries rather than the protracted negotiations between the BRC and South Africa which, for decades, have failed to produce anything tangible.
Stressing on this recommendation, speakers at the People’s Parliament said paying the committee, as it stood, was a financial drain.
The BRC is tasked with the mandate to negotiate the recovery of land that apparently belonged to Swaziland in antiquity and was lost to South Africa during the colonial period.
The disputed territory includes vast acres of land in the South African provinces of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu Natal. Known places that are affected include: Nelspruit, Malelane, Barberton, Ermelo, Piet Retief, Badplaas and Pongola.
These places are home to a population exceeding two million.
Recently, Fonono Dvuba, a member of the BRC, appeared on television and explained the difficulties he said were encountered by the committee in its quest to recover the land.
He explained how the committee now wanted to take the matter up with the United Nations.
He said their biggest challenge was money.
Called for comment on the recommendation by the People’s Parliament on the BRC, Dvuba said he did not believe that Swazis wanted his committee’s remunerations stopped.
Instead, he said he understood the recommendations in the light that people wanted their allocations increased, so as to accommodate even historians who would be mandated with the task of tracing the history of the country’s boundaries.
"I was one of those who attended the Sibaya and the general feeling from the people was that more money should be pumped into the committee’s coffers so that those who write history could also be paid," he said.
Told of the report, Dvuba said: "Tell the person who compiled the report you are talking about to come to me, even if it is the Prime Minister."
The recommendations have been compiled into a 36-page report, detailing everything that was submitted at the People’s Parliament, held at Ludzidzini royal cattle byre a week ago.
The People’s Parliament was commissioned by His Majesty the King.
The National Secretary, said now that the report had been compiled, his office would wait for the King on the next step.
‘Stop rehiring pensioners’
MBABANE – Retired civil servants should not be re-employed. This is one of the recommendations which were submitted by some speakers during the People’s Parliament.
Government’s retirement age is 60.
Speakers at the people’s parliament spoke against the re-hiring of civil servants who are above the retirement age – a trend that is common especially with appointed public servants.
According to a report of the submissions made at the Ludzidzini Royal Kraal, speakers suggested that there should be a law in place which would prevent individuals who have retired from being re-employed.
They believe this robs the energetic youth of job opportunities even though people who have surpassed the 60 age limit were less productive.
On the same issue of retirement, another suggestion was that government should reduce the retiring age by at least five years.
This effectively means that the retiring age should be 55.
The recommendations are part of a 36-page report on which the king is yet to give a way forward.
Meanwhile, another highlighted issue was the voters’ power of recall in the legislative elections.
Swazis are not comfortable with the number of years they have to wait before they can be able to recall a non-performing parliamentary representative.
"Five years is too long a period if we do not have the power to recall someone who has not met our expectations," states the recommendation.
The current term of office for parliamentarians is five years.
The report also states that efforts should be made towards youth empowerment, laying more emphasis on vocational education. People called for the promotion of business opportunities in rural areas in order to create job opportunities.
Another sector which Swazis want improved is tourism and government was implored to make strides towards improving tourist attraction areas.
The pervasive corruption in government also took centre stage in the submissions at the royal headquarters. People said officials implicated in mismanagement of public funds should be fined and government resources repaid through deductions in their salaries.
It was also suggested that unutilised farms be handed over to Swazis with the potential to use the land productively.
Swazis also complained that the introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT) increased retail prices, reducing their buying power in the process.
They said life had become unbearable in the advent of the new tax regime.
As a recommendation, they suggested that the VAT must be suspended.
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