Mbabane: The country is expecting E1.8 billion from the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) next week. Finance minister Majozi Sithole told the Weekend Observer that the second quarter SACU receipts were due next week. Sithole told this publication that SACU receipts are released every quarter and July marked an important month for the country. This comes in the wake of the ongoing financial crisis. During the first quarter (April-June) the country received E1.8 billion.
That allocation was regarded as one of the highest for the country since SACU changed its sharing formula. It has been gathered the E7 billion would be disbursed in four tranches divided equally from its SACU entitlement.
A meeting between the Budget Committee was recently held, where the different committees looked at priority areas.
"Our share is expected now in July. It may be equal to the allocation we got in April. In the meeting, we looked at priority areas that would require urgent payment from the received funds. The budget committee would also look at key projects that have to receive an injection. Other bodies that are responsible for tax collection will have to be on board so that they deduct what is due to the Swaziland government. The meeting was held in one of the country's hotels and the team was able to come up with the main areas that would receive the injection," said a source.
The meeting heard that the money was rather little such that even the lists of companies that were expected to get a substantial share had to be reduced so that some of the companies could get a fraction of the money received from SACU. On Thursday, Minister of Finance Majozi Sithole said SACU was expected in July to cover the next three months of the 2012/2013 financial year.
"Our share this year is better than what we got last year but still not enough to finance all the national challenges. We will continue with strict controls in all areas. The amount received does not mean we are out of the fiscal crisis. We will continue to monitor collections and spending. Cashflow monitoring committee will continue its weekly meetings," said Sithole in April.