Why Vision 2022 is gloom and doom for the 60% poverty margin Swazis. To whose benefit are we paying this tax?

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To whose benefit are we paying this tax?

2 October 2015

Since the introduction of Value added tax on the 1st of July 2012 statistics depicts a worsening and standard of living for ordinary Swazis. When value added tax was introduced it made profits sky rocketing to its billions within the three years for Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA). Worth noting more than anything is that Swazis life deteriorated to a desperate level that is striping of their dignity.

In the recent weeks Swazi media ran a story about an MP from Matsanjeni in the Shiselweni region reporting to parliament the seriousness of drought in his area. He highlighted that the situation was bad that people are leaving the area. In the same breathe government is purchasing 400 cars and preparing for a 50/ 50 celebrations hosted by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Our education system rejects tertiary student’s qualifiers through the abrupt closing scholarship awards with our government giving an excuse of concentrating funding and budget to free primary education strangely enough to this day free primary education is a project funded by the EU. Our health system is beyond shocking just last year (2014) we lost over 40 toddlers and babies who died within a space of two months because government under the ministry of health never purchased a vaccine; not to mention clinics and dispensaries in public hospitals that write you a prescriptions to get medication from private pharmacies because they frequently run out. The rolling out of ART medication cannot be even mentioned.

This terrible social service is within an economic system that is aggressive and literally taxing to the 80% who survive each day (because the economy of Swaziland is owned by 20%). Again today (02/10/201), the local newspaper media ran a story of the IMF visit in Swaziland with a proposal to government of a consolidating fiscal policy (meaning the Fiscal Adjustment Roadmap of 2010 did not work?). This fiscal policy is proposing an enhanced domestic revenue collection.

On asks What this proposal means to us ordinary Swazis who earn to go to those public hospitals; pay bus fare that is looming to hike because petrol is increasing once again at 70c; by bread that has hiked; pay rent that has 14% VAT; electricity that has 14% VAT? What does it say to the informal economy (where majority of the Swazis find themselves because of high unemployment and poverty now worsened by draught) as a vendor you pay 14% for your goods and you have to have a permit; you do cross border trade 14% VAT is there.

Majority of Swazis work to earn less than 10 emalangeni a day that has 14% VAT in a socio economic environment that awards only 20% of the whole population. The 20% being those that afford to be treated in South African and overseas hospitals; have their children in ridiculously expensive schools inside Swaziland and outside the country; own houses and the land from which the ordinary swazi is evicted from to live tents at a yard of a church and consequently having their children being drop outs from school. (Latest 2014 Nokwane eviction).

In a study released for Swaziland Economic Freedom Score reads

Swaziland’s top individual income tax rate is 33 percent, and its top corporate rate is down to 27.5 percent. Other taxes include a fuel and sales tax. Overall tax revenue amounts to 22.7 percent of domestic income, and government expenditures are equivalent to 32.4 percent of domestic output” (http://www.heritage.org/index/country/swaziland)

 

Swazisakungabindvwa kubonwa”. There is no one who will change the current socio economic environment on your behalf. You ordinary Swazis have to speak to the problems and demand the services dutifully owed to you because to pay ridiculous tax that is aggressive to the ordinary; poor and marginalized Swazis.

  • Speak to the national budget that has budget allocations that do not benefit the ordinary Swazis.
  • Speak to 40.6% unemployment rate in a population of just 1.1 million Swazis.
  • Speak to the lack of social service, quality social service when in waking up you pay 14% valued added tax in whatever and however you earn each and every day.
  • Speak to why are you paying for your own governments corruption( Former Minister Majozi Sithole in 2011 estimated that about R80 million a month was disappearing – amounting to about R960 million annually – while the government’s 2010/11 budget allocated R562 million to social services.
  • Speak to the development that does not seem to be pro poor nor address socio economic challenges (including a convention Centre, paired with a luxury 500-room hotel. a plan for theme park, a trade Centre, a sporting complex ,an amusement park. And with no coastline, our government has backed a plan to build a shipping port which will cost an estimated US$3 billion )

We, The Foundation for Socio Economic Justice envisioning a society free from hunger, poverty, inequality and the abuse of power, towards one based on the equitable distribution of resources and the full participation and inclusion of all the people in all processes of decision-making and governance.

Tasked with building a popular movement for people’s alternatives, through the active, consistent and profound involvement of our people on all issues affecting them on a daily basis. Call Swazis to discuss and debate why almost a decade later after the vulnerability study (released a statistic that above 60% of Swazi live below the 1$ a day margin) we are still poor?

 

Information released by

 

Information and Campaigns Office

Foundation for Socio Economic Justice Swaziland
Office410,4th Floor
SNAT Building,Mancishane Street
Manzini,Swaziland
Landline 0268 2505 4009
“Jobs,Food and Dignity For All”

Material Sources

http://allafrica.com/stories/201508210733.html

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2011/car040811a.htm

http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21670003-africas-last-absolute-monarch-has-some-wild-ambitions-his-country-elephantine?fsrc=scn/tw_ec/elephantine_delusions

Times of Swaziland Newspaper Publication 2 October 2015.

Swazi Observer Newspaper Publication 25 September 2015