EZULWINI:Emmanuel Ndlangamandla, the Executive Director of the Co-ordinating Assembly of Non-Governmental Organizations(CANGO) questioned Finance Minister Neal Rijkernberg why the King’s multi-billion International Convention Centre(ICC) continues to drain more money from government.
Addressing participants during the Central Bank’s Post Budget Seminar held on Thursday at the Happy Valley Hotel, Ezulwini, the Director challenged the Finance Minister to explain the investment returns to be benefited by the country from this multi-billion ICC, adding that it was clear that more tax-payers money was being pumped in this project. The was a moment of silence as Ndlangamandla came hard on government on this project and the austerity measures that resulted to suppliers being owed billions of Emalangeni.
“Why is the ICC consuming so much money? What are the return on investment?” the Director asked.
The CANGO Director further warned that the security sector was consuming a lot from the country’s budget and asked whether it was sustainable in light of the dwindling resources.
“There is a concern that the security sector consumes a lot. Is this sustainable in light of the dwindling resources?” he wondered.
When responding to questions from other participants, the Finance Minister avoided to respond to CANGO’s concerns on the ICC. But on the issue of government failing to pay suppliers, the Minister said government was currently conducting an assessment of the invoices to ascertain if they were genuine. However,the responses of the Minister came shortly after this Swaziland News exposed that government was struggling to secure the R2billion loan from Afrixembank that was to be used to pay the suppliers.
CANGO Director Emmanuel Ndlangamandla