Plans Afoot For Lavumisa Border Post To Operate 24-Hours

By Sizwe Dlamini

The CEO of Business Eswatini (BE) Nathi Dlamini says that to transform Eswatini into a private sector-led and export-driven economy, the Lavumisa/Golela Border Post will have to operate 24 hours.

Dlamini disclosed this during the recent ERS Client Appreciation Day 2024 held at the Happy Valley Hotel last week.

Dlamini is the Co-Chairperson of the Eswatini National Trade Facilitation Committee, (NTFC) a position that he shares with the Commissioner General of the Eswatini Revenue Service, Brightwell Nkambule, and the Principal Secretary at the Ministry of ICT Phesheya Dube.

Dlamini noted that in the last few years, the NTFC has made significant strides in reaching cross-border efficacy.

“I am here to talk about Eswatini trade facilitation, a favourite subject of mine under the NTFC where I sit on behalf of the private sector as a Co-Chair. Allow me to say that this committee is arguably one of the most dynamic and effective committees in the kingdom that I have ever had the privilege to be part of. One of the guiding principles we subscribe to is that effective trade facilitation is more than a regulatory requirement but is a powerful enabler of economic transformation. By streamlining and modernizing our trade process, we create an environment where business can thrive, investments flourish, quality jobs are created and most importantly, we have a sustainable economy.”

Dlamini highlighted that the NTFC has been at the forefront of making sure that Eswatini border posts are not just supportive of businesses but also transformative.

“In the last few years the NTFC committee has made significant strides in reaching effective cross-border efficacy, as per the Ease of Doing Business Report, which is now defunct, Eswatini is always ranked number one in Africa for trading across borders. Some of our more recent achievements, however, has been the implementation of 24-hour operations at the Ngwenya /Oshoek Border Post. This move has significantly improved cross-border trade and efficiency directly benefiting the business community in the process”.

Dlamini added that under the NTFC committee, they have modernized customs processes and raised digital solutions reducing paperwork and errors.

The Co-Chairperson highlighted key initiatives that the NTFC committee was working on.

“We are working on turning the Ngwenya Border Post into a one-stop shop border post. This initiative aims to consolidate all cross-border processes into a single location enabling a seamless transportation of goods. Our end goal is to transform the Ngwenya Border Post into a no-stop border post where technology will play a vital role in allowing for the seamless movement of goods and people. Also, we want 24-hour operations at the Lavumisa/Golela border post.”

Dlamini added that by implementing the aforementioned initiatives Eswatini will remain a pivotal trade hub in Africa.

“Following the successes at the Ngwenya Border Post, we want to implement the same strategies at Lavumisa to further enhance our regional trade compass ensuring that Eswatini remains as a pivotal trade hub in Southern Africa. We are also working on the complete automation of all border posts in the kingdom, which will lead to all border processes being more efficient. We will do this by leveraging advanced technology, our target is to reduce clearing times to under three minutes at all ports of entry, which we hope will lower the cost of trade significantly, thus making the country more attractive to international business.”

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