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Over the past week, we have been made aware that the Ministry of Finance will no longer issue permits to import cars older than seven years from date of manufacture, if the car is bought outside SADC. This decision comes with a lot of implications to both car dealers and customers.

We would like to believe that our government considered a lot of things before taking such a decision. The implications of this decision include the following:

1.  Car dealers will have to close down.

2.  A lot of emaSwati employed by these dealers will lose their jobs.

3.  Hawkers who relied on these cars will struggle to find transportation.

4.  The cost of cars will increase with about 150 per cent. 

5.  A lot of emaSwati making a living direct or indirect will lose income. 

6.  A lot of emaSwati will no longer afford buying a car. 

7.  The crime rate will shoot up. 

8.  The working citizens will report for duty late. 

Our government should be considerate and involve its citizens as such decisions have negative impact on emaSwati. We should also remember that during this lock down due to COVID-19, these garages were closed, hence the employees were  not being paid their salaries. They have been back at work for a few months, then this drastic decision is taken. 

My request for government is that at least they should extend and give proper notice to the car dealers, employees and customers. I trust that our government has not taken this decision to frustrate anyone. We appeal to the relevant authorities to have a heart and give a proper notice and a positive (12 years) direction to all of us. This will give everyone  a chance to come to terms with the new normal, and car dealers to conclude their current shipping that is already enroute to Eswatini.


Frustrated liSwati

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