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MBABANE - Sipho Tsabedze, the Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Public Service, reveals some of the reasons that might have stalled the salary review exercise for civil servants.

Tsabedze said the ministry’s staff deserved to know the truth about the matter. He said the Ministry of Public Service submitted three names of companies to Cabinet for consideration and approval. He was referring to the previous Cabinet. Tsabedze was speaking during a meeting to welcome the Minister of Public Service, Mabulala Maseko.  

“As the ministry of Public Service staff, you deserve to be abreast on matters pertaining to the salary review. I must say that the ministry has already submitted three companies, but unfortunately all of them were disqualified by Cabinet. We were told that they were disqualified mainly because they were inexperienced and cannot be trusted in handling your review well,” the PS explained.

Tsabedze said the ministry had since found another consultant, hoping that the consultancy, this time around, would not be disqualified. The PS expressed government’s commitment to reviewing salaries. Tsabedze advised the staff to be diligent and productive in their work. It is worth noting that a salary review assesses whether an employee’s pay accurately reflects their work performance and if it matches the cost of living. Government is expected to undertake salary reviews after every five years. According to the ministry of finance’s second quarter report, the country had around 44 000 civil servants and a wage bill of E650 million monthly.


Speaking at the meeting, Minister Maseko said government had tried her best in meeting them (workers) half way.  “Ever since I assume office in 2021, you have received three per cent Cost-of-Living Adjustment (CoLA) and lastly four per cent. I should point it out that it is easy to point fingers from afar, but it is different case when you are the one handling the negotiations,” he said. “ I can assure you that it is not simple or easy for the Public Sector Unions (PSUs) to quickly reach a common ground when the Finance Ministry says there are no available funds.”

Further, he encouraged the staff to serve the country with passion and be patriotic at all times. “There is no salary that is enough for a person, I myself was once remunerated at C3, C5 and upwards, until I became a Member of Parliament (MP) and now I am a minister, still I am complaining,” the minister said. “What I am trying to point out here is that one must teach himself or herself to be content with what you getting.”

The Maphalaleni MP, who is now serving a second term at Cabinet, was first appointed to replace the late Minister of Public Service, Christian Ntshangase. He was appointment on August 12, 2021. It must be said that the last salary review was done in 2016. The salary review resulted in some employees receiving 17 per cent increment. After awarding the increments, government started experiencing financial challenges. Consequently, there was no CoLA until 2020/21. It was also awarded last year.

In 2016, the then minister of Finance, Martin Dlamini, informed Parliament when delivering the budget speech that government had an obligation to review salaries for civil servants every five years. It was reliably gathered that it had taken government over seven years to review the salaries.

Meanwhile, Minister Maseko has warned heads of department (HoDs) to avoid corruption as it could destroy them in the near future. The minister made these remarks during a meeting which was convened by the principal secretary to welcome him back after his appointment. “It is good to be home again and I would like to thank His Majesty King Mswati III, for once again entrust me with the responsibility to lead this ministry for the next five years,” said the minister.


Making a point, the minister said corruption should be discouraged in every possible ways and advised the HoDs to be content with what they have in their pockets. The minister first told the HoDs that he was fervently praying that Their Majesties reappointed him back to the same ministry.

“I have been praying for this opportunity and I must say that the PS and myself, come a long way as we started our journey at the tertiary institution where were colleagues. We didn’t know that I would be his principal in the same ministry for two consecutive terms,” disclosed the minister.

Meanwhile, in his remarks, the minister encouraged the Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF) to consider investing more in Eswatini as per the wishes of the King. “There are a lot of investment opportunities locally and there are mining and gold mining opportunities and it will be encouraging to hear that PSPF is among those investors,” Minister Maseko advised.

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