Mbabane: The news of the opening of boarders has been welcomed as good news to the Federation of Eswatini Business Community (FESBC)
Hazekiel Mabuza, President of the Federation of Eswatini Business Community (FESBC) said the opening of boards are good news to the business community.
Since the implementations of lockdown boarders were closed and it was hard especially for small businesses to operate and trade with the neighboring South Africa.
“Most businesses source their stock and material in South Africa this relaxing and opening borders comes as good news for small businesses”.
Mabuza noted that although the relaxation comes with some regulations and measures but now it will be easy for businesses to have business meetings with partners and suppliers.
Reacting on measures put by South African government to test all visitors, Mabuza said the testing comes with a huge financial burden to small businesses.
He appealed to government to subsidize and help SMEs to cater for the expensive cost of testing.
The South African President Cryl Ramaphosa made it clear that since they were opening borders, all travelers will be expected to produce covid-19 text result that were done within 72hrs.
Mabuza said this will be a burden to SMEs who are frequent visitors to South Africa as some may not have money to cater for the testing.
Mabuza noted that the months of lockdown had devastating effects on the economy, adding that economic sectors like Tourism were some of the biggest casualties of the lockdown, threatening the future of businesses throughout the value chain.
He noted that in the governments Strategic Road Map 2018 – 2023. Tourism was listed as one of the five pillars to drive economic growth over the next five years ending 2023, as outlined.
SMEs and private sector according to Mabuza, are key contributors to economic growth.
Pathway to post COVID-19 recovery is focused on boosting the private sector and streamlining the fiscal adjustment plan.
Delivering the COVID-19 post recovery strategy in his address Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini said early projections are estimating growth to be around 1.5 percent with the implementation of the plan. In a way, this pandemic provides us with the opportunity to institute reforms in Government with the focus strongly on achieving the milestones articulated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”