ANC Caucus Agrees That Swaziland Should Not Get Bailout

Alf Lees MP

DA Member of the NCOP

The DA welcomes the support of the ANC caucus in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in calling upon the South African government to hold back payment of monies to Swaziland.

Yesterday, I proposed a motion raising concerns about the R1.4 billion bailout to the Kingdom of Swaziland. I asked the House to note that King Mswati III of Swaziland – one of the few remaining absolute monarchs in the world – continues to refuse to allow a democratic dispensation and lives an excessively lavish lifestyle while his people live in poverty.

I asked that the House call on government to refuse financial assistance to Swaziland until the following conditions are met:

* The scrapping of the 39 year old state of emergency;

* The implementation of Universal Human Rights;

* That none of the loan funds be spent on the monarchy;

* The immediate implementation of a multi-party transitional government; and

* The immediate start of multi-party negotiations towards a new democratic constitution for Swaziland.

This motion was passed unopposed by all members of the NCOP.

In a reply to a parliamentary question recently, the Minister of Finance stated that the loan, governed by a Memorandum of Understanding, is subject to certain fiscal and political conditions. The first tranche of the loan is scheduled for payment in September 2012, despite the political situation in Swaziland remaining questionable.

I will be writing to the Minister of Finance today asking that, in accordance with the motion passed in Parliament, that this process is put on hold until the above conditions are met.

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