Eswatini seeks public sector investments as the country battles pro-democracy demonstrations
ESWATINI has called for invitations on various public sector projects, including a 250-bed hospital, even as the world’s last absolute monarchy battles pro-democracy demonstrations.
Formerly called Swaziland, unrelenting protests and unrest have rocked Eswatini since June 2021. Political parties rejected plans for a multi-sectoral stakeholders’ forum at King Mswati III’s palace. Parties also refused the regent to chair the gathering, intended to regain peace in the landlocked African nation.
They want an independent person to facilitate the event and be held in a neutral venue before attending.
The Elangeni National Referral Hospital, planned for Mbabane, with an estimated $51 million price tag. Funding for the project will come from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development (OFID) and Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) for its anticipated two-year construction.
Also on the cards is the country’s portion of upgrade to the South Africa Swaziland Railway expected to cost $950 million. The project involves constructing the 100km railway line linking Sidvokodvo in Eswatini and Mpumalanga from where the line connects to the South African port city Richards Bay. The line can accommodate 26-tonne axle loads and 2.5km trains with 200 wagons.
The country’s energy regulator has also called for bids for the $50 million Eswantini Biomass 40MW plant. The project is developed via the second tranche procurement programme.
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