‘Establishment of Land Bank Crucial For Unlocking Country’s Economic Potential’

By Phiwa Sikhondze

The Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Trade, Manqoba Khumalo, says the critical issue of land availability in Eswatini is a significant barrier to economic transformation and private sector growth.

The Minister disclosed this during the recent Drivers of Inclusive Growth – Private Sector Engagement held at the Hilton Garden Inn, hosted by Business Eswatini.

Despite the optimism for private sector-led growth, the Minister pointed out that the scarcity of land for potential investors is becoming increasingly prohibitive.

He noted that the government’s ambitious plans to establish a land bank to facilitate access to land are facing challenges, as finding even five hectares along the commercial corridor is proving to be nearly impossible.

“When someone requests five hectares along the commercial corridor, it is nearly impossible to find,” he said.

To address this problem, the government is exploring innovative solutions, including the utilization of Eswatini Nation Land. This approach involves looking beyond the traditional commercial corridors and considering more creative uses of available land resources.

Khumalo noted that the establishment of a land bank aims to facilitate the accessibility of land for potential investors and would streamline the process of identifying and allocating land for commercial use, making it easier for investors to find suitable locations for their projects.

According to the Land Bank of South Africa, a Land Bank is a specialist agricultural Development Finance Institution that provides financial services and products to the commercial farming sector, and agri-businesses and facilitates the inclusion of new entrants and historically disadvantaged persons in the agricultural economy.

The establishment of a land bank is seen as a crucial step towards unlocking the country’s economic potential and ensuring the success of major project initiatives planned in the national development plan.

He said that the land challenge underscores the need for comprehensive land management and strategic planning to support Eswatini’s economic growth. As Eswatini gears up for the World Bank’s Business Rating Index assessment in 2025, the Minister has called for technical assistance and funding to implement necessary reforms and improve systems like the Deeds Registry and Collateral Registry.

Share With Friends