In December 2017 it was reported than 80 percent of women aged 60 and over and 70 percent of men in Swaziland lived in poverty. This information was provided by the National Strategy and Action Plan to End Violence in Swaziland: 2017 to 2022.
About seven in ten of Swaziland’s 1.3 million population live in abject poverty defined as having incomes less than the equivalent of US$2 per day. The report said poverty among people aged 60 or over was highest compared to other age groups.
‘Whilst the elderly are now receiving social grants, they continue to be subjected to other forms of abuse as they are neglected by family members, abused physically and emotionally within society,’- told the report.
A media report in Swaziland estimated that the government needed about an extra E20 million (US$1.4 million) to pay for the new pensioners and another E40 million to meet a shortfall to pay the existing 66,000 people already receiving the pensions.
News that elderly grants cannot be paid comes as the new government in Swaziland announced ‘cost-saving’ measures. State-controlled radio has been broadcasting this news over the past few days.
Hospitals and health centres across Swaziland are known to have run out of medicines, including vaccines against polio and tuberculosis, because drug suppliers had not been paid.
On 22 November, 2018 at a press conference Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini said that the recently rented cars for the use of Cabinet ministers will be returned. And he shelved a plan to buy new top-of-the-range vehicles for himself and the Deputy Prime Minister.
Ambrose Dlamini announced that senior government officials would no longer fly first class when they traveled abroad on official business trips. They are to travel business class.