MBABANE: King Mswati’s Government has announced an electricity price increase through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy saying the money would be used in implementing a Rural Electrification Programme.
Eswatini, a tiny Kingdom situated in Southern Africa has about 70% of the population living below the poverty line and citizens are struggling to afford decent houses and other basic necessities of life.
Gogo Sibongile Mbingo of KaLanga in the Lubombo region is among the over 700 000 citizens whose stick and mud house cannot be electrified, it is slowly falling apart and is a health risk to her.
But despite the situation of many Swazis living in poverty and struggling to afford decent houses, Dorcas Dlamini, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy announced through a statement dated 17 September 2021 that Government would be increasing electricity to implement the said Rural Electrification Program. King Mswati had earlier promised that eSwatini would be a First World Country by 2022, however, he later changed his sentiments saying people must pay more in electricity bills for a better life by 2030.
“The Government is implementing a Rural Electrification Program to ensure that all eMaswati have access to affordable and modern energy by the year 2030, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No.7 and the National Energy Policy, 2018. The main objective of the Programme is to improve the livehoods of all citizens of the country especially in the rural areas", read the statement in part.
Lucky Lukhele, Spokesperson of the Swaziland Solidarity Network(SSN) said the money to be sourced from the people through the electricity increase will go to the King Mswati.
“The King are playing around with the people’s mind, he promised Swazis E500million, on the other hand, he is taking money from the poor through electricity hike,”he said.
Gogo Sibongile Mbingo of KaLanga and her neighbor.