TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Swaziland attending to AGOA recommendations - Prime Minister

Monday, 02 June 2014 Published: | STANLEY KHUMALO

Source: Times of Swaziland

Swaziland's Prime minister Sibusiso Dlamini says the country is attending to all five recommendations made by the USA.

The premier, said the country was attending to all five recommendations made by the Americans so that the country could be eligible for AGOA.
“We are attending to all the recommendations made by the Americans. On the other hand, we are also waiting for their response on where the country stands. “Remember, we informed them on what we were doing; so, we are waiting for their response,” Dlamini said.

AGOA is a US preferential trade programme that provides duty-free access to the US market for specific products from eligible sub-Saharan African countries. The premier said the country was addressing all the recommendations through implementing a number of processes that would help achieve the desired results.

The recommendations include full passage of amendments to the Industrial Relations Act allowing for the full recognition of the freedom of assembly speech and organisation, full passage of amendments to the Suppression of Terrorism Act (STA), full passage of amendments to the Public Order Act; full passage of amendments to sections 40 and 97 of the Industrial Relations Act relating to civil and criminal liability to union leaders during protest actions and establishing a code of conduct for the police during public protests.

This Industrial Relations Bill was withdrawn by the portfolio committee on labour and social security while its passing is crucial to the country’s continued AGOA eligibility status. 
The rationale of the Bill was to provide for the registration of federations and other incidental matters.
It seeks to have a provision in the Industrial Relations Act that allows for the registration of federations. The five benchmarks to save Swaziland’s eligibility to AGOA:

 

  1. Full passage of the amendment to the Industrial Relations Act allowing for registration of trade union and employer federations.
  2. Full passage of the amendment to the Suppression of Terrorism Act.
  3. Full passage of the amendment to the Public Order Act allowing for the full recognition of the Freedom of Assembly, speech and organisation.
  4. Full passage of the amendments to Sections 40 and 97 of the Industrial Relations Act
  5. Dissemination and implementation of the Code of Good Practice on Protest and Industrial Action.

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