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THANK YOU ESWATINI COMPETITION COMMISSION

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Sir,

I read an article in your esteemed Times of Eswatini edition of Monday November 6, 2023 about the alleged eggs shortage in the country. It was alleged that the shortage was as a result of an import ban of chickens from South Africa following the outbreak of an Avian Influenza, a transmittable and deadly respiratory disease associated with chickens and birds. I was deeply concerned by this because eggs are one of the most affordable sources of the much needed proteins. In these harsh economic times where food prices continue to escalate, we cannot afford to be without cheaper and affordable foods such as eggs. But when I read the Times of Eswatini again a week later (November 13, 2023), I was consoled by an article and a Press Release advert from the Eswatini Competition Commission (ESCC) to the effect that there was no shortage of eggs in the country.

This statement brought hope and one could see the light at the end of the tunnel. My initial reaction though was who is ESCC? This was because I have never heard about them. I then realised as I read the story that they were a public enterprise established in terms of the Competition Act No. 8 of 2007 to regulate competition in the economy by controlling anti-competitive trade practices, mergers and acquisitions, protecting consumer welfare and providing an institutional mechanism for implementing the objectives of the Act and other matters incidental thereto.

Assurance

ESCC’s assurance has relieved the public from panic. The fact that they (commission) quickly instituted an inspection of some retail outlets to ascertain the accuracy of these allegations is highly commendable. Without these inspections, we would not have known the truth and continue to live in suspense that the country would anytime run out of eggs supply. As a senior member of the public, I would like to know more about ESCC because it seems they are here to help emaSwati. Personally, I have never heard of them but I was amazed by their role in addressing critical issues in the economy. If we can just get more information about ESCC - their personnel and overall role in the economy - we would be grateful and appreciate its existence.

In fact, there are many issues that I believe the ESCC could address, mainly issues of unfair competition and unreasonable and unjustified price increases. As a consumer, I have so much hope that the ESCC has a lot in store for us. It is just that we do not know it. I would like to urge the ESCC Chief Executive Officer Muzi Dlamini to come out in the open and tell us about the commission so that we know what to expect from it as a nation. From what I have read about it in the past few days, I can tell that it is an important organisation. Let us hear more from you Dlamini. Thank you once again for allaying fears on the alleged shortage of eggs in the country.

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Should exam questions be in both English and siSwati?