The Swaziland Government has stolen money intended for the public servants’ pension fund.
A total of E452 million (US$59 million) has been withheld from the Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF) over the past year. The Swazi Government has been struggling to pay its bills for most of 2011 and has had to resort to getting clandestine loans in order to pay government salaries.
It is estimated the monthly salary bill is in the region of E350 million. The government struggled to pay its November salaries and it is unclear whether it will meet December (2011) payments due this week.
Chief Executive Officer of the PSPF Cleopas Dlamini confirmed that the union had not received the money, which it would normally invest both locally and internationally for the benefit of its members.
‘We will forego the interest that we were supposed to get because government will bring the outstanding amount as is. This means that our growth will be lower than previous times. We will be compelled to review our targets because we had made projections already,’ he told the Times of Swaziland newspaper.
Majozi Sithole, Swaziland’s Finance Minister, admitted the government had not paid the pension contributions and did not expect to pay them any time soon. The Times reported it might be possible to pay up after April 2012 when Swaziland expected to receive some revenue from the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU).
Vincent Dlamini of the National Public Servants and Allied Workers Union (NAPSAWU), told the Times, ‘We can all see that government is collapsing, it should not collapse with the Fund and us civil servants.’