MBABANE: Manqoba Khumalo, the Minister of Commerce Industry and Trade said most eMaswati would have died of hunger if the lockdown was not relaxed.
Speaking during a press conference held at Cabinet offices in Mbabane on Friday afternoon, the Minister said the easing of the lockdown came at a right time since a lot of people would have died of hunger than from the deadly coronavirus if the lockdown was to be extended.
"Our projections reflected that a lot of Swazis would die of hunger should the lockdown continue.This is due to the fact that thousands of them suffered job losses during the lockdown.The easing of the lockdown will save about 5000 jobs that were previously lost in the textile industry.This is because industries that are in the manufacturing and production sector will be allowed to operate as long as they will adhere to the strict health precautions initiated by the WHO and the Ministry of Health" he said .
The Minister mentioned that the lockdown was eased to enable people to meet their daily needs while the country await a vaccine or a cure for the deadly virus.
He also announced a tax relief for informal traderssaying 60 % of the working population is in the informal sector.
“I would like to announce that the Eswatini Revenue Authority will offer a 25% tax relief for businesses in the informal sector.Businessesthat paid their taxes in full in the past year are entitled to this tax refund\" announced the Minister.
Minister of Commerce Mancoba Khumalo