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Friday, 1 March 2013


Swaziland’s Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku, who is himself a self-declared millionaire, has said the E20 (US$3) rise in the monthly grant for the elderly is sufficient.

This follows complaints from the elderly themselves that it was not enough to cover rises in prices over the past year. The monthly elderly grant now stands at E220.

In a survey conducted by the Swazi Observer newspaper elderly people said the social grant was not enough, especially if they were also taking care of children.

Masuku told journalists that people would always want the grant to be higher than it is. 

In the past year the Swazi Government has failed to pay the grants to the elderly on time, with the delay in some cases lasting several months.

The Observer reported that in South Africa elderly people received E1260 a month as a social grant.

In 2011 Masuku boasted to a group of Christians that he was a millionaire. At the time Masuku was one of several ministers, including Barnabas Dlamini, the Prime Minister, at the centre of a land corruption scandal.  He told his audience he had been motivated by his own childhood poverty to become rich.

The Times of Swaziland reported‘He said it was possible to be a millionaire as long as people changed their mindsets towards living.’

Investigations into the corruption scandal were not concluded after King Mswati III ordered them to end.

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