Johannesburg - A R2.4bn ($280m) loan that South Africa
agreed to extend to Swaziland has hit a snag but the landlocked kingdom,
Africa's last absolute monarchy, can survive without it, its finance minister
said on Tuesday.
The loan was agreed in 2011 as Swaziland grappled with an
acute funding crisis. South Africa was due to release the first tranche of the
bailout last year but the money never materialised.
"It would seem that it's not working out," Finance Minister Majozi Sithole told Reuters in Johannesburg, citing additional
conditions set by South Africa.
"If we can't get it because of any complications it's
not a train smash for Swaziland. We will live without it."
South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan told parliament
in August that Pretoria would release the first R800m subject to its neighbour
meeting certain fiscal and technical conditions.
The deal had initially hit problems when Swaziland objected
to Pretoria's demands for political and economic reforms in the southern
African kingdom, criticised internationally over its ban on political parties.
The budget crunch, triggered by a sharp decline in receipts
from a regional customs union, caused unprecedented protests against Swazi
ruler King Mswati III, who has a personal fortune estimated at $200m.
Meanwhile, majority of the 1.2 million citizens wallow in
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