Tha­bane as­sumes SACU chair­ship

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE - Bereng Mpaki

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.

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