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ERS ISSUED 23 TENDERS WORTH OVER E70m

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MBABANE – 23 tenders amounting to over E70 million were issued by Eswatini Revenue Service (ERS) in the previous financial year.

The procurement of goods and services for ERS amounted to E70 757 544.86 in the previous financial year. The 23 tenders awarded were valued at E55 180 606.43, while 586 purchase orders amounted to E15 576 938.43. Goods-type tenders were worth E4 728 419, services-type tenders amounted to E40 741 998.43 and work-type tenders were worth E9 710 189. This was detailed in the Eswatini Revenue Services (ERS) Integrated Annual Report 2021/2022, which was presented in Parliament two weeks ago.

Revenue

They collected a total of E10.787 billion in tax revenue for the financial year 2021/22. The figures contained in the institution’s Integrated Annual Performance Report reflected that the collections were 10 per cent below the target amount of E12.022 billion. The report was presented in Parliament yesterday. The shortfall of E1.235 billion was above the previous year by E0.842 billion.

Tax revenue is defined as the revenues collected from taxes on income and profits, social security contributions, taxes levied on goods and services, payroll taxes, taxes on the ownership and transfer of property and other taxes. Tax revenue is collected in the world over and is mostly regarded as one measure of the degree to which the government controls the economy’s resources.  

For a second consecutive period in the past five years, tax revenue collections grew below the economic growth rate, which could be defined as a characteristic of a declining revenue administration. In 2021/22, the tax revenue grew by 8.5 per cent but was still lower than the nominal gross domestic product (GDP) increase of 10.9 per cent, as reflected in the projections of the Central Bank of Eswatini (CBE) and the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development.

The deficiency in tax collections was observed across most of the major tax indicators, which ERS attributed partly to slow economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as weakened economic performance since the episodes of the political unrest, which began in 2021. 

Performance

However, ERS observed that there was a positive performance on a year-on-year comparison, indicating a recovery from the COVID-19 era.The average domestic revenue growth rate for the past five years was 5.3 per cent this year, which is 4.7 percentage points below the long-term average of 10.0 per cent. Personal income tax (PIT) and value-added tax (VAT) contributed the most tax revenue, at 35.19 per cent and 17.03 per cent respectively, indicating that most of the revenue collected by ERS came from individuals. Other income tax (OIT) and fuel tax contributed the least tax revenue, at 4.94 per cent and 11.96 per cent, respectively.

The manufacturing, wholesale and retail sectors realised a noticeable increase in revenue contribution, while the agricultural sector recorded a decline. The revenue collection was divided into direct taxes and indirect taxes. Direct tax encompasses fuel tax, road toll, sin tax, import motor vehicle levy and value-added tax (VAT). Indirect tax includes company tax, graded tax, individual tax and other income tax.

Individual taxes contributed E3.796 billion and were the largest contributor to the collections. Individual tax (or personal income tax) is a tax levied on the wages, salaries, dividends, interest and other income a person earns throughout the year.Graded tax and company taxes contributed E0.012 million and E1.837 billion respectively, while other income tax gave E0.533 billion.

Collection

VAT, which is charged on goods and services, levied at each stage of a supply chain, was also a major contributor to the collection with E3.134 billion. Fuel taxes amounted to E1.289 billion, while road toll and import motor vehicle levy gave E0.057 billion and E0.012 billion, respectively. Alcohol and tobacco contributed E0.029 billion to the collection. ERS Commissioner General Brightwell Nkambule, in a statement, said the performance of the entity was marred by the slow economic growth, which was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the political unrest.

“Although the last few years have been difficult for the ERS, I would like to send my utmost appreciation to the entire ERS family, our employees, who have remained committed to exerting effort towards attaining the revenue target despite the uncertainties in our operating environment brought about by the economic challenges and the pandemic,” said Nkambule.

He stated that despite the sluggish economic conditions and adverse impacts of the pandemic, the 2021/22 financial year was marked by the commencement of the implementation of a new ERS Strategic Plan for the years 2021/22 to 2023/24. Nkambule said their vision was to attain 100 per cent voluntary compliance for a better country.

Support

“ERS continues to hold in high regard, our regional and international partners, who remain an integral part of our business model. For this reporting period, we would like to appreciate the World Customs Organisation (WCO) for extending support through technical assistance in customs initiatives,” he added.

The report reflects the performance of ERS against its strategy and annual targets. It is compiled in line with the legislative and governance framework for the entity. The report demonstrates the organisation’s value creation and focuses on improving it in the short, medium and long term. Chairman of the Board at ERS, David Dlamini, said that even though there were challenges, the organisation worked closely towards the targets. He said the Board appreciated the staff’s resilience to the mandate given to them.

“Following a lot of introspection and feedback from stakeholders, the focus was placed on changing the organisation from ‘authority’ to a ‘service’ and making it more focused on customers,” he said.


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