Mbabane: Vocal Siphofaneni and Hosea Members of Parliament Mduduzi ‘Magawugawu’ Simelane and Mduduzi ‘Bacede’ Mabuza are against the idea of government changing registration regulations of imported cars from overseas.
The proposed legislation, which was published in a gazette a fortnight ago, stated that a used motor vehicle requiring a permit shall not be older than seven years at the date of its purchase. The proposed legislation came through a public notice by the Minister of Finance Neal Rijkernberg “Used Motor Vehicle Permit Specification Notice 2020” which seeks to ban the importation of cars older than seven years.
The two MPs said this was a move that would set up government against the people. They lamented that the proposed law would make purchasing vehicles more expensive for most of average emaSwati as they would approximately cost over E100 000.
Speaking in his offices in Matsapha on Tuesday, MP Simelane voiced out his concern over the government’s decision mentioning that it will cripple emaSwati as they will lose what they already have. Simelane said when banning the importation of vehicles older than seven years, those with vehicles older than that will face a challenge when seeking spare parts as the import car dealerships also import spares for these vehicles.
Simelane added that government was also acting against legislation it had set before. Explaining his logic, he said, government through the Neal Rijkenberg-led Ministry of Finance had introduced the fuel levy. He said by virtue of introducing the Used Motor Vehicles Import Permit Specification Notice, 2020, there would be minimal levy to collect by government as fewer people would have vehicles to refuel.
The fuel levy introduced by government came to life through the Finance Bill, No.5 of 2019, which was assented into an Act. The fuel levy is currently E3.85 cents over and above the fuel price. This Act altered certain taxes, duties, levies, tolls and fees and amended certain enactments relating to taxes, duties, levies, tolls and fees and to provide for other matters relating thereto
Hosea Constituency MP Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza was quoted by the Times of Eswatini saying a majority of his constituents were driving these vehicles and would not afford those manufactured not more than seven years ago. He said these vehicles would be expensive for them as many people were low income earners while others bought them (cars) to venture into business.
“These cars are as good as locally manufactured vehicles and my first car was worth E7 000 in 2003. That car is still functioning and someone is using it to run his spaza shop,” Mabuza said.
The view of the legislator was that government was neglecting the masses it is meant to serve.