By Staff Writers
Finance Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro officially handed the Chairmanship of the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) Council of Ministers to Namibian Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein in Windhoek on Thursday.
The Chairmanship rotates among the member states in alphabetical order over a period of 12 months.
This means Namibia president Hage Geingob is now the chairperson of the Sacu summit, Schlettwein serves as the chairperson of the Sacu council of ministers and finance executive director of Namibia Ericah Shafudah will serve as the Sacu commission chair.
Accepting the chairmanship on
behalf of Namibia at a press briefing on Thursday, Schlettwein said the
chairmanship of the Sacu institutions comes with the obligations to drive the
Sacu Work Programme to the achievement of the customs’ objectives.
“Namibia looks forward to working closely with the Sacu membership in furtherance of these objectives,” Schlettwein said.
He further said he will work closely with the outgoing chair on specific aspects of the work programme and continue to build on the foundation laid by Lesotho to move the Sacu agenda forward.
Schlettwein said the customs area should reposition itself to boost its competitiveness and total factor productivity to attract investment flows and promote expansion of trade.
Dr Majoro presented a report
with details on the status of implementation of the Sacu Work Programme for
Namibia’s consideration, information and further action.
He said: “As you will appreciate from the report, the main focus of the council during Lesotho’s term has been the implementation of the work programme (…),” Majoro noted. He added that there is need to fast track the process of implementation and details on activities done and to be done are contained in the report.
SACU is the world’s oldest existing custom union among five countries, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa. Established in 1910, SACU’s headquarters are in the Namibian capital, Windhoek.
The aim of SACU is to maintain the free interchange of goods between member countries. It provides for a common external tariff and a common excise tariff to this common customs area.
All customs and excise collected in the common customs area are paid into South Africa’s National Revenue Fund. The revenue is shared among members according to a revenue-sharing formula.
South Africa is the custodian of this pool. Only Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia’s shares are calculated, with South Africa retaining the residual.
SACU revenue constitutes a substantial share of the state revenue of Lesotho. NW
Caption: Minister of Finance of the Kingdom of Lesotho, Dr Moeketsi Majoro.