MANZINI: Eswatini citizens are struggling with poor roads both in the urban and rural areas.
As a result, the Manzini Municipality, despite collecting rates from the citizens opted to replace a damaged tarred road with gravel, triggering criticism among the rate payers.
Eswatini citizens pay various taxes including the Value Added Tax(VAT), Pay as You Earn(PAYE) and Corporate Tax among others, in addition, those who reside in urban areas pay rates.
Sabelo Dlamini, the Secretary General of the Swaziland Local Kombi Association (SLKA) said the bad state of the country's roads greatly affected their businesses as public transport operators.
“Our cars breakdown due to the potholes and it's costly to repair them. This is similar to charity since we are not getting any profit. It's unfortunate that we are paying rates and tax only to receive such poor service from Government”, the Secretary General said.
A resident of Ludwala in Ngwane Park who lives along Stanley Street said what the Municipal Council had done was unexpected.
“As rate payers we expected the Council to rebuild the street but today we only see heavy machinery repairing it with gravel. Now this area will be full of dust yet it's within the city", said the resident.
When reached for comments, Mathokoza Tfwala, the Manzini Municipal Council Public Relations Officer (PRO) said this was just a temporary measure and major repairs of the street would start by the end of February 2022.
“What you are referring to is a temporary measure pending finalization of a procurement process towards the rehabilitation of that street. Rehabilitation of Stanley Street is expected to commence by the end of February 2022", said the Manzini PRO.
Thabile Mdluli, the Deputy Government Spokesperson had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
Pius Vilakati, the Spokesperson of the Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) said the problem was royalty which was looting public funds.
“There's is a looting spree involving the King and his children which will drive this country into bankruptcy. The solution is to remove the Monarchy altogether", said the CPS Spokesperson.
The failure by the government to fulfill social obligations comes after King Mswati through the State controlled media announced that eSwatini would attain first world status by 2022.
Manzini Manicipality replaces tarred with gravel.