By Phephile Motau
Southern African Customs Union (SACU) receipts for Eswatini will increase by 102 per cent in 2023/24 from E5.8 billion in 2022/23 to E11.75 billion.
This is according to Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg. The minister said this was the highest share that the country had ever received from the regional bloc and said the factors that had contributed included a higher than-projected outturn of the 2021/22 Common Revenue Pool (CRP) and the surplus emanating from that will be paid together with the 2023/24 revenue share and a 25% increase in the projected size of the CRP for 2023/24 compared to 2022/23.
Rijkenberg said another contributing factor was an increase in Eswatini’s share of total intra-SACU imports from 9.6% in the revenue-sharing framework for 2022/23 to 10.8% in 2023/24.
“This means that the measures that the Ministry has been implementing in order to enhance intra-SACU imports have started paying off,” he said.
He added that the government would be setting up a SACU stabilisation fund which still needs to be approved through cabinet and parliament.
“We are hoping to table the regulations for the fund together with the budget that will be presented soon. The SACU stabilisation fund will be put in place so that when we have better years like the year ahead, we will take the funds from that year to cushion in years when the SACU receipts are low,” Rijkenberg said.
He added that this would help bring more stability to the volatility in SACU receipt the country gets. He said they were still planning and hoping that this would be finalised in cabinet and parliament.
“We are hoping to put about E1.5 billion into the SACU stabilisation fund this coming year, this should give us a lot more stability as an economy going forward. A lot of work has gone into this from the officials at the Ministry of Finance and Eswatini Revenue Authority, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for all the hard work they have put into work on the numbers from our side as Eswatini,” Rijkenberg said.
He explained that the advantage of this was that it would be resetting the country’s normal, so going forward the country should continue to receive a higher percentage of the SACU revenue pool.
By Phephile Motau