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THE PROBLEM WITH OUR VISION 2022

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Sir,

There is no doubt that a country as small as Swaziland can achieve First World status.


It’s just a question of reducing poverty and unemployment to below 20 per cent. However, many years have passed since the announcement of Vision 2022, and yet, poverty and unemployment levels in the country remain sky high. In fact, very little has changed in this regard.


Perhaps some people’s definition of First World status means having shiny new structures like the ones which are being built in Ezulwini.
If that were the case, then countries like Kenya, South Africa or Mozambique would have long achieved First World status with the amount of shiny new structures being built in those countries.


Some commentators are of the view that Vision 2022 is not government’s responsibility alone but that every citizen has a role to play in ensuring that the vision becomes a reality by creating employment opportunities which would lead to economic growth.


The problem with this view, however, is that the very same government is making it increasingly difficult for locals to start and operate businesses in the country.


Instead of levelling the playing field, government is creating more and more hurdles.
The recently introduced Construction Industry Council is just one example of this, which has seen a handful of big companies getting the lion’s share of all construction projects in the country while many of the smaller ones face closure over unpaid monies for work done.


Another hurdle which government has placed along the road to prosperity for locals are the exorbitant taxes which companies are expected to pay, sometimes even before they themselves have been paid for work done on behalf of government.
It seems as though government’s fight is not against poverty but against the poor and oppressed citizens of the country.

Swazi Citizen

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