Another day, another cash crisis caused by the Swaziland Government’s mismanagement of the economy.
This time it’s the Swaziland Post and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC) which needs E409 million (about US$60 million) to keep on going.
Nelisiwe Shongwe, Minister of Information, Communication and Technology, wants to sell off the 21 percent of shares in the mobile phone operator MTN that SPTC owns to raise the money, but the Swazi Cabinet has blocked the move.
The government has decided to provide a short-term budget subvention to SPTC to try to ease the cash-flow problem. But where the government will find the money is not clear.
Shongwe said the huge financial injection would not only help support the operations of the SPTC, but also address a pension fund deficit.
The Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper, reports Shongwe saying, SPTC has cash-flow problems and needs money. A major cause of the problem is a huge investment SPTC has made in the Fixed Wireless Network (a joint venture with MTN), also known as ‘One’, which like the rest of the economy has been badly mismanaged by government.
SPTC has been at the centre of controversy and a Parliament Select Committee was tasked with investigating irregularities in Shongwe’s intervention in the transfer of SPTC shares and regulatory powers. The committee found, ‘SPTC is struggling financially and such position has been demonstrated to government on several occasions.’
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