Swaziland: Building Hotel a Budget Priority

analysis

The Swaziland Government is to spend E1.5bn (US$125m) this year building a conference centre and five-star hotel to host the African Union summit in 2020 that will last eight days.

This is more than the sum allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture (E1.4bn) or the Ministry of Defence (E1.15bn). It is the biggest single capital project in Swaziland's budget this year. Total capital spending is set at E5.6bn.

It comes as the Finance Minister Martin Dlamini announced Value Added Tax (VAT) would be increased by 1 percent to 15 percent and a review would be made of the VAT Act to allow taxation of electricity for the first time. Commentators within Swaziland say this will have a huge effect on the poor. Seven in ten of the estimated 1.1 million population have incomes less than the equivalent of US$2 per day.

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