TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Swaziland: Bring back AGOA, Minister begs US

Wednesday, 20 May 2015 Published: | Noxolo Nkabinde

Source: Swazi Observer

Following the registration of federations in the country, Minister of Labour and Social Security Winnie Magagula has called for the United States of America to review the country’s AGOA status. 

Magagula said now that government had met another important benchmark and committed to meeting all of them, they were expecting that the US would review the status.

 “As Swaziland we are expecting that after meeting such an important benchmark of registering federations which means that workers will now be able to sit down with government and deal with issues related to workers, those responsible for reviewing the country’s AGOA status will review it. 

This is especially because this registration was exactly in line with the benchmarks and ILO requirements,” she said.

Magagula was speaking on national radio yesterday morning. 

The country’s AGOA status was revoked last year after the country failed to meet benchmarks given by the USA. Government has, however, been working towards meeting these benchmarks since last year. 

Early last week, Magagula announced that federations, namely, the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA), Federation of the Swaziland Business Community (FESBC) as well as the Federation of the Swaziland Employers and Chamber of Commerce (FSE &CC) had been registered. 

Nothing sinister

The minister also emphasised that there was nothing sinister in the manner in which the federations got their certificates as they were registered by the acting labour commissioner who was with the deputy and principal labour commissioner. 

She said the acting labour commissioner Sipho Tsabedze was the rightful person to register them as they had also presented their applications to him and he held a very senior position within the ministry. 

Magagula further assured the nation that government remained committed to meeting the benchmarks as the workers and government would now hopefully find a way to work together. 

She said it was expected that the acting labour commissioner would hold a meeting tomorrow to discuss the code now that the registration had been done. 

 

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