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MBABANE – Changing the face of King Mswati III International Airport is on course as approximately E130 million (US$100 million) has been secured for pre-construction processes to commence.

This was disclosed by Director for Swazi based Pearl of the South Mfunwa Lukhele yesterday. He said all correspondence and relevant approval had been received giving the processing of the E130 million into the kingdom for commencement of what he termed ‘groundwork’. Lukhele said by February, they expected the funds to have been deposited into the country, for collation of documents that include, but not limited to, feasibility and environmental studies that would lay the groundwork and give direction how the project ought to be rolled out. “The project is going ahead. I may not be certain as to how much will be sent through for now but we had budgeted about E130 million (US$100 million) for groundwork,” said Lukhele.

The amount to be released for the groundwork, is part of the mega-project where E52 billion could be invested towards construction of the Swazi City. The multibillion projects, where over 3000 jobs could be created soon after Environmental Impact Assessment EIA approval, could be constructed courtesy of an international joint venture group involving Sellbridge International, a UK organisation run by African born philanthropist TM Hart-Jones and Pearl of the South (Shaking the Tree Foundation). Pearl of the South Managing Director Tim Smith previously said the three major projects would include the creation of a Trade Free Zone with a five star hotel and casino a world class concert arena (with plans to bring in top booking artists and world class entertainers in all areas of music), a bonded warehouse, an international mineral bank, a sovereign finance and banking district including offshore banking and possibly a stock exchange also a manufacturing zone, to bring in foreign entrepreneurs to manufacture their goods in Swaziland.

The funding could also include plans to assist Swaziland to develop a new Green Smart Town / City in the region, with all services and transport infrastructure. The project could also extend to include a totally funded 400MW power station powered by Swaziland Anthracite in two ways, near to the Mpaka area with the budget to open a fully functional coal mining operation. Smith disclosed that they recently had meetings with highly placed officials to advance the planned Sikhuphe Airport infrastructure development project. Smith said Sellbridge and Pearl of South had aligned themselves accordingly with Dene Tribes and Sovereign Bank of Dene for the Swaziland mega projects, representing Global Indigenous communities on the expansion of self-sustainability and Green infrastructure as well as a bio-friendly formatted zero-waste smart City development at a macro-economic level. He explained that Dene Tribes and Sellbridge Ltd/Pearl of South had arranged a strategic technological partnership with GHBH - Global Human Benefit Holdings of Hong Kong as a part of the World Help - Africa initiative.


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