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DEVELOPMENT CRISIS LOOMS AS SEC SHUTS ELECTRICITY SCHEMES

By Mbono Mdluli | 2017-12-08

Development crisis looms in the country as the Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) and the ministry of education suspends Micro Projects.

The development crisis was foreseen by Manzini North Member of Parliament (MP) Jan Sithole yesterday in the House of Assembly.

He said so as he was motivating a motion he moved to direct Minister for Finance Martin Dlamini to release the outstanding budgetary allocations for Micro Projects and Rural Development Fund (RDF) for the financial year 2017/2018 financial year.

The minister was given seven days to do that.

Motivating his motion, Sithole said what was happening in the constituencies was bad because the people who were in the electricity schemes were not getting the services they wanted.

The people who have paid for electricity connections through the schemes, many of them have not received services from SEC because the programme could not be sustainable.

In February this year, Dlamini allocated E180 million to Micro Projects for the present fiscal year.

Unfortunately, only E20 million was released to Micro Projects. SEC, with the hope that the rest of the money would finally be released, continued rendering services to the citizens through the electricity schemes.

project

However, the company could not take it anymore as it could not have money to implement the project because the ministry of finance could not transfer the money to Micro Projects, which would be used to pay SEC.

This forced SEC to write a letter to Micro Projects to suspend the implementation of electricity schemes because government owed E155 million to SEC.

 The letter was written on August 10, this year and it stated that the implementation of the projects would be suspended until the outstanding debt was paid by government to SEC.

Sithole said the current situation has forced money from Regional Development Fund (RDF) to be taken to do other programmes under Micro Projects. This was the same as scenario whereby Peter was robbed to pay John.

This would give rise to a development crisis because electricity was a very important commodity.

 

What was even worse was that Micro Projects did not fund the electrification in rural areas, but also pumped a lot of money on infrastructure development in rural areas. Some schools and bridges were built by Micro Projects.

 

This showed that Micro Projects unit directly impacted on development in rural areas and the unit should not be crippled because the ordinary citizens were the ones that were directly affected.

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