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MPS WANT ALL FACTORY SHELLS TRANSFERRED TO EIPA

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MBABANE – Gilgal Member of Parliament (MP) Sandla Kenneth Fakudze wants to move a motion that seeks to transfer all factory shells to the Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA).

In the Private Member’s motion which is seconded by Ndzingeni MP Lutfo Dlamini, the legislator cites three reason for the transfer of the all the factory shells to the authority one of them being that currently, they cannot sue rental defaulters or even get judgement against those owing them, because they lack ownership of the factory shells. However, he could not move the motion in Parliament on Wednesday, because the Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg was held up in another parliamentary business at the Senate.

“To move that the Honourable Minister for Finance, in consultation with the Honourable Minister for Commerce, Industry and Trade, should consider transferring all factory shells to the Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA) for the following reasons, inter alia: (1) Government has built up a healthy stock of shells which are currently operated and maintained by EIPA in terms of rent collection, servicing and personnel etc. even though their ownership remains with the Ministry of Finance; (2) Currently, they cannot sue rental defaulters or even get judgement against those owing them because they lack ownership of the Factory Shells; (3) EIPA will be self-funding and will have the financial muscle through this stock of factory shells and would be able to borrow funds from financial institutions, internally or externally, at concessional rates to further develop new factory shells and rehabilitate the existing ones without government subvention; (4) Investment promotion agencies in the Southern Africa Region (Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency) own factories and properties in their own name and allowing EIPA to own assets places them at par with the counterparts and ensures that they can compete in the chase to secure investors.

It was shared in the motion that Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg should appraise the House of Assembly on progress that would have been made within 21 days of passing of this motion. It should be noted that during the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade portfolio committee annual performance report presentation in Parliament, Lomahasha MP Ndumiso Masimula applauded the Minister Manqoba Khumalo for building factory shells. He also encouraged him to adhere to the speech from the throne requesting the ministry to build factory shells yearly.  He further opined that the factory shells should not be clustered along the Manzini-Matsapha corridor but must be decentralised to other corners of the country.
Khumalo shared that the ministry had adopted and embraced the policy by His Majesty the King. The ministry is engaging with all stakeholders that should inform the factory shell programme and shall develop a concept note that would project the factory shell construction up to 2028.

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