Mbabane: Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku says Emaswati can look back at some positives that have emerged in a generally difficult 2020.
Masuku said this during a press briefing on Wednesday at the cabinet offices where he was delivering His Majesty’s government end of year statement.
The Acting PM said these positive achievements include the electrification of 14 338 rural households and the resuscitation and construction of various water projects benefitting over 80 000 Emaswati.
Another achievement by the government is of the Layoff Relief Fund which has disbursed over E16.5 million thus far and the E45 Million MSME Revolving Fund were also introduced. Masuku added that at least 400 000 Emaswati, including women and children from 75 000 households, received food assistance from Government this year.
He added that Government was able to complete a new government hospital in Lubombo where people are receiving free COVID-19 treatment. “We also turned Mavuso Trade Centre into a COVID-19 centre and rehabilitated a number of health facilities to meet the demand for healthcare to protect our people.”
Acting PM also highlighted on the launch of the Post COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan which he described as one that will go down as one of the highlights of the year. The Recovery Plan serves as an economic stimulus for the Kingdom, projecting investments worth E30 Billion.
“In collaboration with the private sector, some of the investment projects outlined in the Recovery Plan are already at preliminary stages, with investments worth E4.7 Billion and an anticipated 2 700 jobs either at or close to implementation stage,” said Masuku.
Masuku also said the country have also seen the birth of new Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, especially in the pharmaceutical sector, as Emaswati have been challenged to push themselves beyond limits and be innovating in order to survive the effects of the pandemic.
He further revealed that concurrently, Government has addressed the arrears challenge as it had committed itself to the nation and private sector in particular. Consequently, arrears have been reduced drastically from the E5.1 billion to E2.6 billion currently.
He further paid homage and particular tribute to all the heroes and heroines that are frontline workers for riding the wave during such a difficult year. “As we begin the festive season, we wish to remind Emaswati that the year 2020 is not a usual year. Let us remember that COVID-19 is still very much in existence, added Masuku.
The nation continues to mourn the loss of PM Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini; an amazing patriot who will be laid to rest over the weekend, a humble leader of His Majesty’s Government, an advocate of the Tinkhundla system of governance and a passionate advocate of a COVID-19 free Eswatini. “Indeed, a giant has fallen and may his soul rest in eternal peace.”
Masuku reminded that nation that we are in the midst of a vicious war against an uncompromising enemy, hence let us protect ourselves and each other by adhering to all the COVID-19 regulations and protocols without fail.
“On behalf of Their Majesties and His Majesty’s Government, I take this opportunity to wish you all a safe and joyous Christmas and a prosperous 2021 as we all journey towards our National Vision 2022.”