Reports of R1.2bn loan to Swaziland ‘not true’

The finance ministry said on Tuesday that a report claiming that a R1.2-billion loan had been granted by the South African government to Swaziland was incorrect.

“While the South African government is in receipt of a loan request from Swaziland, as confirmed last week, no loan has been agreed to or granted to Swaziland,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

The African Development Bank has already refused Swaziland a bailout loan because the country has not met conditions set by the International Monetary Fund, a report said on June 24.

The IMF has said Swaziland must put in place austerity measures, cutting thousands of government jobs and reducing salaries, before loans may be approved.

On Monday, Swaziland opposition forces claimed in a report that the government had agreed on the loan to bail out its cash-strapped government.

Lucky Lukhele, spokesperson for Swaziland Solidarity Network based in Johannesburg, said he had heard from “highly placed sources” in the South African government that it had decided to lend Swaziland the money.

The finance ministry confirmed that technical discussions between South Africa and Swaziland on possible assistance were taking place, and said it would release a statement once a decision had been made.

“[The discussions] take place in the context of the global recession, which resulted in Swaziland losing nearly 60% of its revenue from the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu),” it added.

The Congress of South African Trade Union’s (Cosatu) international secretary Bongani Masuku on Monday also said that the loan had been granted.

Nzimande says no
Meanwhile, South African Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande said on Tuesday that South Africa must not “bail out” the government of Swaziland.

He was addressing the fifth central committee meeting of Cosatu in Midrand, near Johannesburg.

He said support could be given to the Swaziland government only if it allowed for free and democratic expressions by the people of that country.

“The SACP demands the unbanning of all political parties in Swaziland and the creation of conditions for free and full political participation by all in building a democratic Swaziland.”

Turning to popular uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, Nzimande added that the SACP condemned “the state-inspired violence directed against protesters and civilians in general in these areas”.

But he noted that the uprisings marked “a decisive resurgence of popular agency in the Arab world, breaking the bonds of fear and repression, and asserting a profound democratic yearning for popular sovereignty”. — I-Net Bridge

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Zeenat Moorad
Zeenat Moorad works from Johannesburg, South Africa. Markets, finance&business. Mostly. Once editor, journalist, columnist-Financial Mail&Business Day,Views all my own, I’d follow me, Currently @Discovery_SA Zeenat Moorad has over 4602 followers on Twitter.
Janice Roberts
Guest Author

Related stories


Subscribers only

Pandemic hobbles learners’ futures

South African schools have yet to open for the 2021 academic year and experts are sounding the alarm over lost learning time, especially in the crucial grades one and 12

Q&A Sessions: George Euvrard, the brains behind our cryptic crossword

George Euvrard spoke to Athandiwe Saba about his passion for education, clues on how to solve his crosswords and the importance of celebrating South Africa.

More top stories

Uganda: ‘I have never seen this much tear-gas in an...

Counting was slow across Uganda as a result of the internet shutdown, which affected some of the biometric machines used to validate voter registrations.

No way out for Thales in arms deal case, court...

The arms manufacturer has argued that there was no evidence to show that it was aware of hundreds of indirect payments to Jacob Zuma, but the court was not convinced.

Inside George Mukhari hospital’s second wave

The Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism and James Oatway visited George Mukhari academic hospital to document the second-wave realities experienced by doctors and nurses

Power shift at Luthuli House

Ace Magashule’s move to distance himself from Carl Niehaus signals a rebalancing of influence and authority at the top of the ANC

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…