July 5, 2023


3 min read

Matekane is new SACU chairperson

Matekane is new SACU chairperson

Prime Minister Sam Matekane

Story highlights

    Lesotho assumes the lead position of the regional economic body after Eswatini
    PM appeals to his regional counterparts not to let SACU disintegrate on their watch

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PRIME Minister Sam Matekane has set his eyes on the effective implementation of the customs union's strategic plan for 2022–2027 after being named the organisation's new chairman.

Matekane was elected the new chairperson during the SACU Summit that was held in Eswatini on Thursday last week.

Article 7A (5) of the SACU agreement of 2002 provides that the SACU summit shall meet at least once a year and may hold extraordinary meetings at the request of any member.

The Chairmanship of SACU is a simple rotation by member states in alphabetical order.

Lesotho assumed the lead position of the regional economic body after Eswatini.

The SACU Strategic Plan 2022–27 is centred on six pillars, including industrialisation, export and investment promotion, trade facilitation, and logistics.

The strategic plan also looks at the implementation and leveraging of opportunities under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.

Various factors have impacted the execution of the strategic plan since its adoption, some of which could have dire consequences for the economies of SACU member states.

With regard to the new five-year plan, Matekane outlined his ambition that a lot should be achieved within a shorter period of time in order to ensure the progress of the organisation going forward.

“On our part, as the incoming chair of SACU, we pledge that the Kingdom of Lesotho will carry the baton diligently to build on the momentum of these achievements as we move with speed to implement our strategic plan. We welcome the progress made to date towards the implementation of the Strategic Plan 2022–27.

“We expect that much more will be achieved within a shorter period when decisions reached today are implemented in a well-coordinated fashion,” Matekane said following his appointment.

SACU is an African regional economic organisation with member states including Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, and South Africa.

The five member states maintain a common external tariff, share customs revenues, and coordinate policies and decision-making on a wide range of trade issues.

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“When our forebears created the customs union over 100 years ago in 1910, they did so with a strong conviction to build an organisation that would last for countless generations. Being the oldest Customs Union in the world, SACU has stood the test of time and proved to be tenacious.

“Where we need reforms, let us be bold enough to do so in unity and with a sense of common purpose. We must not let this organisation disintegrate on our watch. Let us shun tendencies that sow seeds of discord among us and remain united with a common goal to make SACU the epitome of all,” Matekane added.

The Prime Minister’s delegation to the summit included the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Dr. Retšelisitsoe Matlanyane, the Minister of Trade, Industry, Business Development, and Tourism, Mokhethi Shelile, and other senior government officials.


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