By Ntokozo Nkambule
It appears the government’s decision to ban or prohibit the import of vehicles dubbed ‘dubai’s’ that are over seven years old has paid off handsomely, as this has contributed immensely to the country getting its largest Southern African Customs Union receipts (SACU) ever.
The Minister of Finance, Neal Rijkenberg announced last week that the country is expecting E11.75 billion from SACU receipts for the 2022/23 financial year. The amount is also the largest share of SACU receipts that the country has ever received from the regional bloc.
When addressing the media Rijkenberg explained that the reason the country will receive more from SACU this time is that emaSwati have also purchased more in the SACU region compared to previous years.
“The SACU pool measures how much we have imported to our economies from fellow SACU members. The different countries then get a certain percentage of what they have imported into the region. This means that the more Eswatini can import in the SACU region, the better, as we then get increased revenue as well. As a result of this revenue sharing structure, we implore emaSwati to import more from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, and Botswana.”
He noted that over the past financial year, emaSwati have been purchasing more vehicles from the SACU region, particularly from neigbhouring South Africa instead of countries such as Japan and others. The Minister clarified that it’s not only cars that have been imported by emaSwati in the region, but they certainly contributed, significantly.
“The increase in the SACU receipts pleases us because as a government we had a clear plan on how to encourage emaSwati to import more from the SACU region. This is why we came up with the ‘dubai’ ban, and have also improved on our customs department with initiatives such as the Sekulula VAT facilitated by the Eswatini Revenue Service (ERS).”