SACU contributes 23% of 2019/20 budget

SHARE   |   Friday, 31 May 2019   |   By Baitshepi Sekgweng
Kenneth Matambo [L] Kenneth Matambo [L]

Botswana receives a significant portions   of  her income   from the customs  and excise  revenues  sector  mainly  from the South Africa Customs Union (SACU)  which is significantly  becoming  important  in the local economy after gem stones and the tourism sector.

This  was said  by the minister of  Finance  and Economic Development  Kenneth Matambo  when officiating  at  the  24th  governing meeting  of  the World Customs Organisation  (WCO) of East and Southern Africa  in Gaborone organised by Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS).

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The meeting , which  attracted  close to 24 member countries, was  meant  to constructively  seek solutions  to trade imbalances  and create a region  that will facilitate  trade efficiently to ensure  economic  growth and intra -regional trade.

“For the current  financial  year ,we estimate  the contribution  of the Customs collections  to the  government revenue  to  be about  23% of  the  state budget. We are fully aware of the part we have to play as the government to reduce over reliance on the customs revenues. Therefore it is for this reason  that we are pursuing  a number of economic  initiatives  with the view  to enhancing  the level of  investment in the country  therefore  broadening  our domestic  tax base,” said Matambo.

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Though Matambo has  reiterated on the need to reduce  reliance on Customs revenue, he has pledged Botswana’s support towards  the World Customs Organisation  agenda  which is to solely advocate  for capacity building amongst  members to use  customs  management  as an effective  tool  for economic development.

“It is with great  pleasure  that most of the countries  which fall  under this organisation   or forum  have recently signed  to the African Continental  Free Trade Agreement,  a platform  which creates  an Africa  wide free  trade area. This will help accelerate economic integration   of the continent with the aim of achieving economic growth therefore reducing and attaining sustainable economic development,” he said.

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According to Matambo, agreements such as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement create a single   market for goods and services with free movement of business people and investment therefore accelerating   the establishment of African Customs Union.

“We must acknowledge the central role that customs play in the implementation of these agreements. In addition  economic  integration  experts  advise  that for any economic grouping  to function  one of the  most critical steps  is to simplify  and harmonise  customs systems and  procedures  for participating countries,” Matambo said.

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In order  to improve the trading  environment  Botswana  has already passed and enacted new laws  in 2018 which  will ensure customs are  well equipped  to keep up with  current, future developments as well as challenges.



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