MBABANE:Finance Minister Neal Rijikernberg who doubles as a businessman has intensified moves to shutdown ‘Dubai’ dealers, a decision that might come at a huge cost for the financially struggling citizens.
The Minister has published a notice, the “Used Motor Vehicle Permit Specification Notice 2020, that disallow the insurance of registration permits for all vehicles older than seven years, a decision that might force import car dealers to shut down due to loss of revenue and or unavailability of market
Mbongwa Dlamini, the President of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) said as teachers, this decision will hit them hard as before the arrival of these import vehicles, it was rare to see a teacher driving a car.
“Government must provide a valid reason why import cars older that seven years are being banned because that’s what we afford as citizens. If the car is older than seven years and the buyer is comfortable with it, what’s wrong with that? We have old government cars that are unroadworthy, some are even using teaspoons to start the engine but they are on the road” said the SNAT President.
Senior political insiders noted that the Finance Minister has been taking decision that seek to benefit capitalists while pushing the people deeper into poverty.
“This decision means citizens will now buy cars through bank loans and from local car dealers at a high cost, the Minister, as a businessman might, in one way or the other linked to such businesses” said the insider.
But on Saturday, the Times of Eswatini quoted Setsabile Dlamini, the Communications Officer within the Ministry of Finance confirming that import cars older that seven years will be banned, adding that this was meant to increase the country’s revenue in the South African Customs Union (SACU).
“The country wants to enhance its share of SACU revenues. The more imports from within the SACU, the more revenue the country gets in terms of SACU receipts,” the communications officer said.