Thabane assumes SACU chairship
PRIME Minister Thomas Thabane (pictured) assumed the chair of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) on Friday and pledged to build on the previous chairpersons’ work towards the industrialisation and integration of the SACU member states.
Dr Thabane took over from the president of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi, at the 6th Summit of the heads of state and government that was held in Botswana on Friday.
SACU is one of the world’s oldest customs unions and it consists of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and ESwatini (formerly known as Swaziland).
The Friday summit deliberated on the revenue sharing formula, the long-term management of the common revenue pool and the establishment of a stabilisation fund among other things.
Speaking ahead of the SACU summit, Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro recently told the Sunday Express’ sister Lesotho Times publication that “SACU revenue is currently shared in the following three components: the Customs Component which uses intra-SACU trade data, the Excise Component which uses the gross domestic product (GDP) of each country and the Development Component which uses the GDP as applied to 15 percent of the Excise Component”.
“Lesotho and other SACU member states acknowledge the advantages of the arrangement where South Africa manages the SACU revenue pool on behalf of the union which include lower borrowing costs given South Africa’s relatively advanced financial markets.
“We would like to see a situation in the future where the SACU revenue pool is managed as an independent account at the South African Reserve Bank and not as part of South Africa’s National Revenue Fund,” Dr Majoro said.
In his acceptance speech, Dr Thabane thanked SACU member states for affording Lesotho the opportunity to be the next chair of SACU.
“We look forward to working tirelessly and closely with all the member states to ensure a timely implementation of all activities that are planned in the context of SACU work programme.
“We pledge our commitment to build on the achievements of the previous SACU chairs in order to move our region to the next level,” Dr Thabane said.