To: All Media
13th November 2019, Mbabane, Kingdom of Eswatini: The Coordinating Assembly of Non-Governmental Organisations (CANGO) is seriously concerned by the government’s luxurious spending in a crumbling economy and the high level of poverty.
CANGO is an independent Non-Governmental Organisations umbrella organisation who’s over 70 members address development, humanitarian and environmental issues.
Its membership is based on shared principles of democratic governance, transparency and members’ participation and human right-based programming. Its mandate is to coordinate, build capacity of its members, advocate for pro-poor policies and grants management. The Non-Governmental sector remains an extended arm of government in delivering lifesaving services as well as raising concerns of the poor and vulnerable groups.
As a collective of the Non-Governmental Organisations sector, we observed the following:
1. Along-side the whole nation, the NGO sector welcomed the new administration with confidence in resuscitating the ailing economy after the national elections in 2018. This was particularly because we noted that it was guided by the national Vision 2022;
2. We welcomed how the government was alive to the dire economic situation of the country and appreciated how it timeously came up with confidence-restoring strategic framework in the form of the Eswatini Strategic Roadmap 2019-2022 whose five priority areas were: harmonising ease of doing business; fiscal consolidation; Infrastructure, Innovation and Investment; Culture of excellence, and; Social safety nets;
3. His Excellency the Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo led Administration introduced the “Interim financial controls to enhance financial prudence and fiscal management so as to contain expenditure which was spiralling out of control”. These austerity measures: to freeze air travelling through flying first class for economy; freezing the procurement of new fleet and or hiring of cars for Cabinet ministers; suspending utility tariffs increment and the suspension of tendering within government while harmonising the procurement system, were to curb government spending;
4. Government also implemented the zero increase for the Cost of Living Adjustment (CoLA) insisting there was no money.
We are alarmed and concerned about the following developments in the country:
a. That the government proposed taxes and tariff hikes to boost the economy has put strain on tax payers as the 85 cent per litre petrol levy; proposed 15% per unit electricity VAT; income tax (PAYE) increase from 33% to 36% for E250 000.00 and above earners and the reduction of corporate tax is too much sacrifice asked from the taxpayer. Yet in contrast reckless spending continues to be the norm.
Though we have not been totally opposed to tax, we stand by our initial position that over taxation is a burden to the working class who supports many dependents with their salary and sympathise with civil servants whose Cost of Living Adjustment remains frozen while commodity prices, taxes and levies skyrocket;
b. The recent acquisition of vehicles has shocked the nation and the development partners. As NGOs depend on grants from external partners this will affect our resource mobilisation;
c. It is becoming clear to us that the government is actually not aligned to its own policy of economic recovery but that of plunging the economy to a grinding halt with serious consequences to the general populace such as deepening poverty, regress on gains made on HIV/AIDS, weakening of service deliver such as social protection, health, education to mention a few.
Our assessment of the current situation is that unless government spending is human developmental-centred and projects accountability, the needless purchasing of luxury cars and spending on external trips, among other mismanagement of taxpayers’ money, is self-defeating and must be addressed immediately;
d. It is contradictory for the government to be calling for tax compliance from taxpayers when the government itself is out on a shopping spree. This is against the Prime Minister’s statement of November 2018 when coming into office, whereby he assured the country of government exercising fiscal prudence.
The government has failed to deliver but operates on secrecy policy and in total disregard of the rights of the tax payer and its responsibility on spending taxes. We find this not only diminish confidence on not only the tax payer but also of investors and donors as well as the international community at large;
e. This situation is further aggravated by corruption and nepotism undermining the principles of good governance and transparency;
f. Government’s spending behaviour may prompt international development partners to withdraw financial assistance whose grants contribute about 3% of towards the country’s budget and are responsible for saving thousands of lives. It is therefore very much concerning to show a contrasting picture to the outside world to appeal for assistance while spending lavishly, in spite of the health crisis and shortage of medicine, delayed tertiary tuition fees sparking class boycotts and protests as well as the continued freezing of CoLa for civil servants.
Therefore, we call for:
a. The Government to facilitate an open budget system where allocations of all institutions are well documented and subjected to scrutiny by Parliament. The culture of secrecy cannot be sustained as it is the taxpayers’ money that is wasted in luxurious commodities. Every institution should use its allocated budget because the current situation where other institution force government to reallocate funds away from life saving measures like essential drugs, social grants is untenable;
b. Parliament oversight strengthening and Portfolio Committees to implement stiff penalties to offenders;
c. Government, like in 2010 financial crisis, to ring-fence health, education and social protection and social services so that these are not subjected to budget cuts and to freeze hiring more non-critical staff.
d. With the high suicide rate there is an urgent need for rehabilitation services to curb many people going through tough times reaching the point of taking decisions to end their own lives.
+268 2404 4721
+268 7817 9868
10 October 2019
The 10th of October every year marks the World Mental Health Day, a day to raise awareness and show support for better mental health. This year’s theme is on suicide prevention.
Suicides have claimed many lives worldwide and the Kingdom of Eswatini is no exception. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), every 40 seconds someone dies through suicide - about 800 000 lives lost each year. They do not only have devastating effects on close family members and close friends of one who commits suicide but also leave socio-economic impacts to communities, countries and the world.
We need new ways of thinking to deal with causes, deaths and effects of suicides by mobilising resources and financing for mental health. Currently non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including mental illness attract less interest over transmittable and infectious diseases.
Of these mental health disorders, including mood, anxiety, personality, substance abuse, trauma-related disorders and schizophrenia, our way of thinking, feeling and or action is affected. And a person could, for a number of reasons, feel less of a human as they reciprocate social judgments. That is why mental illness should be taken as a disease and treated as such.
As we raise advocacy through the designated World Mental Health Day, we must remember not to make our efforts count for a day’s event but an everyday living. Therefore, we call for a comprehensive multidisciplinary strategy and action plan that focuses on stigma elimination, prevention, proper treatment and care as well as the promotion of mental health. Government must spearhead the creation and strengthening mental health policies and laws. Other stakeholders, including the private and civil society sectors must create awareness and education programmes for the workplace and at home. Most importantly, a person affected or those close to them need to take the first step. Seek help.
The Coordinating Assembly of Non-Governmental Organisations (CANGO) whose objectives are: coordinating, advocacy, capacity-building and grants management of NGOs also has a role to play. Working with and through NCD NGOs implementing various programmes on the ground, we can link these organisations and people. If help is needed, our hands are open to anyone. One suicide is one too many.
People can reach us at:
Physical and postal Addresses:
Plot No 419 JSM Matsebula Street
P.O Box A67 Swazi Plaza, Mbabane
Tel: (+268) 2404 4721/9283
03 September 2019
To: all media
For immediate release
Mbabane: The Coordinating Assembly of Non-Governmental Organisations (CANGO) and the Human Rights and Governance consortium have learnt with shock mounting violence against migrant foreign nationals in the neighbouring country, South Africa.
It is such a shame that the violence which has gotten out of hand has received less intervention from the South African administration, despite warnings to stage blockades on trucks over border gates coming to South Africa by some of its citizens.
These deadly attacks have reached places in major cities’ Central Business District (CBD), suburbs and other places within South Africa with destructions to property and looting.
We see these attacks as xenophobic. This is because victims are burnt alive, beaten to death and trucks torched to the ground suspected of taking South African jobs but none are of colour other than black and African immigrants from other countries in Africa. Eswatini are also not spared.
Blockades targeting truck drivers mean people will not put food on the table and their dependants, including children, suffer. We urge our government to reach out to the South African counterparts and resolve this impasse to avert negative effects of economic loss, loss of lives and harmed relations with other countries.
This is not the South Africa we know and does not show the spirit of Ubuntu. How quick are we to forget that Africa was in support during the time of apartheid for its people’s liberation? It goes against the African Union and the SADC Protocols on free movement of persons which talk of removing obstacles to free movement of capital and labour, goods and services and of the people.
We condemn these attacks and call on SADC member states to unequivocally do the same. The South African Government and all SADC Member States must guarantee the safety and respect for human rights of all foreign nationals present within their borders.
We therefore call upon the South African government to stop this madness by putting immediate interventions, including but not limited to deploying security forces to protect lives and property in places where these attacks are taking place, as a matter of principle to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. The African Charter should compel State parties to provide the necessary environment within their borders for peaceful, secure and cohesive existence for both citizens and migrants.
The Coordinating Assembly of Non-Governmental Organization (CANGO) is a coordinating body for affiliated Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) in Eswatini. CANGO was established initially as a network for NGOs working in Primary Health Care in 1983 and its mandate was broadened in 1987 to assume the national umbrella status in coordination of Civil Society Organizations (CSO) in the country.
CANGO facilitates coordination of the NGO sector, builds capacity of civil society, influence policy through advocacy, manages grants from multiple funding partners and maintains strategic partnerships with development partners and government.
As part of coordination, CANGO manages seven (7) Consortia, namely HIV/AIDS, Governance and Human Rights, Children, Gender, the Sexual Reproductive Health Task Team, Food Security and the Swaziland Elections Network through which specific program implementation and advocacy issues are addressed at regional and national levels.
CANGO structure includes: The Annual General Meeting which is the highest making policy body. It has a 11-member Governing Board; 9 elected and two appointed outside the sector, based on expertise. The Board is responsible for CANGO policy, strategy and oversight. The CANGO Secretariat has a 13-member team.
About the Human Rights and Governance Consortium
The Human Rights and Governance Consortium is an advocacy group of organisations and a substructure of CANGO which is its Secretariat focusing on a broad-spectrum of human rights and governance issues which have dominated the human rights agenda since it was established in 2000.
Press Release: CANGO Sings Praise on Victory between Husband and Wife’s Equality To Administer Marital Property
Mbabane: The Coordinating Assembly of Non-Governmental Organisations (CANGO) would like to appreciate justice being served by the High Court’s judgment to give effect to equality of husband and wife married in civil rights, community of property delivered on the 30th August in the case of Makhosazane Eunice Sacolo (nee Dlamini) and Another vs. Jukhi Sacolo and two others (1403/16: 2019).
Indeed, this is a landmark case because the Court neutralised marital power which has always been afforded men only in marriage, according to the Marriage Act 1964. But now because the wife in marriage is authorised, both spouses have the same entitlements which are “equal capacity and authority to administer marital property.” Also, the section 24 and 25 of the Act were struck down, declared unconstitutional an invalid.
We would like to wish the applicants, first applicant Makhosazane Eunice Sacolo (nee Dlamini) and second applicant, Women and Law Southern Africa-Swaziland, well for the victory and standing up for women’s rights the legal way. Because of their courage, women’s rights to dignity prevailed.
To this end, Women and Law Southern Africa-Swaziland to be a true advocate and having the interest of women at centre of its existence in not only supporting the first applicant’s rights but the landscape for all women married through civil rights in community of property.
As the common law doctrine of marital power, has been declared unconstitutional, discriminatory and inconsistent with Sections 18, 20 and 28 of the Constitution (2005), we can from this stage, therefore, encourage the Legislature to play its role too and amend the Marriage Act of 1964 to align it with the Constitution.
Tel: +268 2404 4721
Mobile: +268 7817 9868
Facebook: Coordinating Assembly of NGOs Eswatini
Are you are youth-implementing organisation? Are you registered as an NGO/CSO and operational in the Kingdom of Eswatini? If you are, reach-out to CANGO for the orientation of the Youth Consortium whose objectives are: coordinating the youth civil society space; magnifying the advocacy issues for youth issues to receive government attention; capacity building and training opportunities; and raise resources to implement youth-focused issues. Tell us more about your organisation. Reach-out to CANGO at 2404 4721. Send your email to email@example.com and copy firstname.lastname@example.org. If your organisation is still unregistered, reachout to us as well and let's form a movement; the Youth Consortium: Freedom. Equality.
Email to: email@example.com copy firstname.lastname@example.org
For more details, call: 2404 4721
CANGO invites suitably qualified candidates to join its dynamic team for the vacant Coordination and Advocacy Programme Officer’s position.
The position entails delivering on the following:
If you are interested, send your application with letter, CV, references, certified copies of academic certificates to email@example.com and copy firstname.lastname@example.org or; hand deliver at CANGO Offices at
Plot 419 JSM Matsebula Street.
Deadline for submission is the 28th of August 2019. Only shortlisted individuals shall be informed.
The Human Rights and Governance consortium under the Coordinating Assembly (CANGO) is alarmed by the extra judicial execution of inmates said to have escaped from the Big Bend Correctional Facility.