Eswatini Daily News

By Sifiso Sibandze

The government is pressing on with its resolution to trim its swollen workforce in a bid to reduce its ever-increasing wage bill.

Currently, Eswatini’s wage bill accounts for 37 per cent of recurrent expenditure and about 9.2 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product. With about 40 000 employees, the government spends about E608 million per month which translates to above E7.3 billion per year.

At this level, the wage bill is going to take 66.4 per cent of the record-high E11 billion SACU revenue. This suggests that the government will remain with only E3.7 billion that it can channel to other budgetary obligations.

To address the issue of the high wage bill, Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini told the media on Friday that the government has embarked on a Management Audit, whose results will be out before the end of March 2023.

In Dlamini’s view, this management audit will help the government determine which posts remain critical and which should be rendered redundant.

“It will also help the government determine if a review of Circular No. 3 of 2018 is necessary,” the PM said.

Circular No.3 of 2018 introduced a hiring freeze in all government ministries and departments, a move which attracted criticism from labour and economic experts.

They predicted that the hiring freeze would have negative effects mostly on the education and health sectors which requires continuous hiring of health workers and teachers. Recently the government hired 1 200 teachers albeit temporarily at the height of an outcry on the shortage of teachers in some schools. The government also made some of the temporary posts permanent.

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