Category: News

WELCOME NOTE FROM THE CEO

Greetings Esteemed Members,

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you all to the New Year.

The year 2020 was fraught with tough challenges which affected the companies we run, and at a personal level, our families as well.

Looking back, the pandemic steadily became a crisis of epic proportions as we were introduced, for the first time, to unfamiliar concepts of living and doing business. The many lockdowns and restrictions in the movement of people and goods – necessary as these measures may have been – put paid to a number of good initiatives aimed at turning the economy around.

We are therefore grateful for those who successfully crossed over into 2021 and we hope they will try to make sense out of a business environment that long ceased to be sensible. 

Looking forward to 2021, indications suggest that it may be another sombre year but with some semblance of positives in the latter part of the year. In our estimation, it cannot get any worse than this.

As Business Eswatini though, our mandate remains relatively unchanged, which is to advocate for a robust business environment and general economic wellbeing for the business community.  To achieve that objective there are many components that must work smoothly and synergistically within our organisation.

To that effect, I would like to express our profound gratitude to each and every one of you who walked with us last year to make our vision possible. Despite the glaring and obvious challenges related to Covid-19, I recall that the business community rose to the occasion when the country desperately needed us to avert certain disaster from the outbreak. Covid-19 remains the biggest singular threat to the economy, yet through the guidance and wise counsel of our Board, EXCO along with your active participation and support, we will overcome as we have already proved last year.

We believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We have more reasons to be hopeful now. As you are well aware, several effective vaccines have been developed and are being rolled out in Europe and America. Eswatini is also on course to roll out the vaccine during the course of the year, hopefully by this autumn. As more details on that are released, we will once again call upon you to work with us and other partners to get over the line.

Undoubtedly, we have heard all manner of untruths and misinformation about the vaccines – from our colleagues, friends and all over social media. Over the next few months, the Secretariat will be working closely with Government on an education program to dispel all myths, conspiracy theories and allay any fears that exist.  It has always been said that until a definitive treatment or vaccine is found the battle for Covid-19 will rage on. So my plea to you is for your cooperation as we launch the final assault against Covid-19 and begin a new chapter of economic restoration.

As we propel forward in the New Year, we are not unmindful that there are always new challenges that lie ahead of us. We remain confident that with your continued support we will be able to meet all these challenges head-on. It is reassuring to know that we’re all willing to pull together and make the changes necessary to ensure our continued success.

We wish you a successful year ahead.

E. Nathi Dlamini

CEO

Tribute to Mrs. Dudu Cynthia Lomanene Vilakazi of HS Transport – A proud member of Business Eswatini

Business Women Eswatini (BWE) and the entire nation have lost another virtuous and courageous warrior in Mrs. Dudu Lomanene Vilakazi of HS Transport, which is a member of Business Eswatini. It is unprecedented but today we mourn our very own. No amount of words and sophisticated vocabulary could even begin to describe the kind of woman she has been to us as an organisation and the women empowerment movement. It is even difficult to describe our feelings of inconsolable loss resulting from her untimely passing away.   

We started the BWE journey together only recently. Just as we were seeing the glimpses of success and a ray of hope, she was whisked away from us. We mourn a warrior gone too soon.

Being a true visionary, Lomanene, as we fondly called her, would not be held back by anything – not even lack. She stopped at nothing to generously give the best gift she had, even her last penny of her hard-earned money, in order to make an impact on the lives of the powerless. She gave her soul to the cause. She gave consistently her time and wealth of knowledge to us and all who came into contact with her. We ask ourselves this question today: Where will all of this come from now?

Like every noble assignment, our work has not been smooth sailing from the very first day. Throughout the difficulties we have been through, Mrs. Vilakazi has been the paragon of resilience and a source of courage when needed the most. She, as if was not experiencing any difficulties herself, was strong enough to spur us on and swallowed her own pains for the team. As if she was assigned by a higher power to do it, she demonstrated what working without complaining is. Our knees are weak.  

We are also aware that Mrs. Vilakazi’s untimely demise is not only a loss to Business Eswatini, but it is a loss to her family, her friends, and all who benefitted from her life. We pass our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to them. She was truly a blessing to us which we would have loved to have kept forever, but it was not to be. A hero has gone, and gone too soon.

We are in mourning and our hearts are filled with sorrow. But as colleagues, family, and friends who loved you till your last breath, we are also aware that your departure from us is a joy to the Lord and the Heavenlies with whom you now celebrate the life of victory which you lived on this earth. Congratulations on a life well-lived.

MAY YOUR SOUL REST IN ETERNAL PEACE.

Mrs. Tokky Hou – Business Women Eswatini Chairperson

Memorializing H. E. The Rt.Hon. PM Mr A. M. Dlamini

The private sector of Eswatini

E. Nathi Dlamini

24 Dec 2020

These are the collective sentiments of the private sector on whose behalf I have the privilege to express. They are from every businessperson in the land: big and small; formal and informal. It is their feelings for this moment whose time we had yearned will never come in our lifetimes. For us as a business community we have lost that which was a source of inspiration and hope.

We have lost a treasure of a man who came and gave everything, and took nothing in return. And when his life was spent, he left.

Hope denied at a time when needed the most; Hope that kept the business community going when all else was floundering.  His Excellency was the perfect expression of that hope, yet he understood only too well that man cannot live on hope, even though he accepted it as truth that without hope life wouldn’t be worth living either.

It was this hope that brought us this far. We therefore plied our trade not only as a means of creating jobs and sustaining desperate communities; but it was all about nation-building and creating a better life for all – through business. Our efforts were vitalized, in large part, because we knew these things were important to the Prime Minister.

But here we are today to say Not all is well with us, as the hope that sustained us is no more. No amount of pious platitudes can sooth the anguish we feel today. Our faith is diminished by the fear of having to walk alone again without him who was the mainstay of our sector; and he whose currency of exchange was always the truth and nothing else. Indeed, he was the heartbeat of business that never skipped a beat.

Being the embodiment of humility that he was though, he would most probably beg to differ as he wasn’t one to clamor for credit. The weight on his shoulders was heavy and the enormity of the assignment before him daunting. Yet he was unfazed as though something much greater than he propelled him, from day to day. One is left to assume that, despite his fortitude and deep faith, there must have been episodes of lonesomeness and despondency along the way. But he kept on dreaming dreams – for a better economy and a better country for all who call it home. It could not have been easy for him but, surely, it was worth it.     

We therefore say thank you Your Excellency for your sacrifice. Your efforts were not in vain. Even though we fear to walk alone to the future that beckons us, at least you showed us the way to get there. Tomorrow looks brighter as a result of you having passed this way. Our partnership with government has never been stronger because you revealed to us the wisdom of collaboration and the power of unity of purpose.

Men and women in business are filled with inconsolable sorrow, as if to say we cannot move on without you. Your departure from us has laid bare, for all to see, the fragility of life and the futility of our human existence. We may not possess the certitude of the faithful in equal measure and therefore we begin to wonder if the dreams you shared with us are still possible without the dreamer. Is it possible, I ask, to go on without your duty of care and compassion that were the touchstones of your life? Is it possible to carry on without your assurances which became the hallmark of your leadership?  

Maybe it is, just maybe, because you institutionalized the idea of the country’s ideal, both in the private sector and elsewhere. You were a complex entity of a man who taught us that the politics of identity should not stand in the way of nation-building; you didn’t look at the business sector with patrician disdain but as a vital partner without which a better country can only remain elusive. You chose to remain true and unchanging to the kingdom’s values despite the many exotic fragrances of change blowing your way. You were the bulwark of the country’s ideals for which I honour you most deeply today.

Director of ceremonies, I will not leave the podium until I recognize those closest and dearest to him. His wife Make Portia and the kids whom he adored; as well as his wider family, friends and relatives. The men and women of business would like to say sorry for your loss at this time. As for me personally, my loss is no less profound than yours as I, too, loved him no less.

God bless you. God bless Eswatini.  Thank you.    

Business Eswatini mourns the sad and untimely passing on of the Rt. Hon Prime Minister.

Passing Away of His Excellency the Rt. Hon Prime Minister

He came. He gave. And when he was spent, he left. There are no words to express our shock and sorrow as a business community.

The news of the demise of His Excellency the Right Honourable Prime Minister still feels like a nightmare from which we are yet to awaken.  We have always known that life is fleeting but this is too sad to bear and too soon to accept.

As a business community we have been privileged to avail of his wise counsel over the years on important issues. And at another level, we have enjoyed his partnership and friendship. We have benefitted from his leadership as a former president of the Chamber and latterly, as prime minister of the land. He had the best interest of the country at heart in everything he did. In the midst of this deadly pandemic, he gave his life completely to mitigating its devastating effects on the people. Little did we know that, fight as he did, he would end up succumbing to the very same disease he fought so hard to prevent.

As Business Eswatini we would like to pass our sincere condolences to Their Majesties, His Excellency’s family, especially Make Dumile and the kids; the business community and the entire nation at large.

May your soul rest in eternal peace.

Andrew le Roux                                                                          E. Nathi Dlamini

The Economic Recovery Plan

Minister of Economic Planning Dr. Thambo Gina: “The #EconomicRecoveryPlan is about gearing Government & the Private sector to work together. The Plan is a E30 billion stimulus package that will accelerate our economy into a much more sustainable path to achieve our development vision.

Business Eswatini CEO E. Nathi Dlamini: “One day #COVID19 will be over so we need to prepare. As the private sector we congratulate Government for grabbing the bull by its horns. It’s not easy but it has to be done. We will work with you because you are sincere & committed.”

A hectic brainstorming session #nationbuilding

After a hectic brainstorming session with BWE leadership, the President had to strike a subdued pose at the end #nationbuilding

Enterprising women slog away

In the words of the CEO it’s a virtuous circle when enterprising women slog away on the factory floor to create national wealth. The Bank steps in to facilitate funding; the taxman takes his dues; Minister of Finance steps in: Bills are paid and the nation is healed for yet another day. The #VirtuousCircle is made whole