Mbabane: Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini’s concern that parliament is taking too long to pass legislation is highlighted in the recently launched Investor Roadmap as a contributing factor to the slow economic development in the country. Some of the outstanding legislation includes the Swaziland Communication Bill, Swaziland Electronic Communication Bill, National Payments System Bill (promotes and regulates cellphone banking), Decentralisation Bill, Public Service Bill, Tourism establishments regulations, Public Service Bill, Construction Bill, Sectional Title Act, Southern African Customs union Agreement Bill, amongst 40 other pending legislations.
A statement by government, which the premier unfortunately could not table in parliament on Monday, states that the outstanding legislations were important to economic and social development.
“Today, I take the opportunity to express serious concern from the executive arm regarding the lamentable slowness with which parliament is handling its primary function – that of the review and processing of legislation. I trust that these words will encourage parliament to carry out an urgent and thorough improvement of its systems in order to expedite its review and processing of the outstanding legislation,” he said on Monday.
Unfortunately, Dlamini’s statement could not be made official in parliament as Speaker of the House of Assembly Prince Guduza said it was not on the order paper.
Economists say the PM’s statement echoes concerns highlighted in the Investor Roadmap, a document that constitutes overarching issues pinpointing administrative procedural and regulatory impediments which have the potential to deter business in Swaziland.
An observation made in the Investor Roadmap states that “some of the objectives of the Investor Roadmap are regulatory oriented thus they need the passing of some legislations in parliament. Notwithstanding that some of these necessary legislations are passed by parliament, some are still pending”.