Thursday, September 12, 2019

Striking Swaziland students win victory in dispute with government

University and college students in Swaziland / eSwatini won a victory over government, forcing it to double their personal allowances.

All tertiary institutions in the kingdom where King Mswati III rules as an absolute monarch were closed after students protests, including strikes, local media reported.

The dispute had been going on for a number of years. Students are also campaigning for scholarships to be made available for all who qualify and want them. There are also concerns about resources. These issues have not been resolved.

The Swazi Observer, a newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati, reported government would raise the E800 personal allowance per month to E1,690. This covers accommodation, food, transport and other personal allowances. The government had said it was broke and could not afford to pay. 

Public services across the kingdom, including health, education and policing are crumbling. The government owes its suppliers about E3 billion (US$215 million). Public servants are due to hold a national strike in a long-running campaign to get cost-of-living salary adjustments. 

Ministry of Labour and Social Security Principal Secretary Thulani Mkhaliphi said this year government supported about 13,000 students through the Students Study Loan Scheme.

See also

Swaziland university closed indefinitely as student protests continue

Limkokwing University, Swaziland, asks High Court to force end to class boycott

Swaziland police hold and ‘torture’ students after protest march on Govt ministry

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