Swaziland too broke to pay salaries

2011-05-11 11:48

Johannesburg - Cash-strapped Swaziland will most likely be unable to pay civil servants their salaries, the finance minister was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

Majozi Sithole said the government might not find the funds for May salaries, and as yet has no solution for June, according to The Times of Swaziland.

The tiny country of 1.2 million people is run by an absolute monarch, whose lavish lifestyle often draws criticism.

Last month, the government cracked down on opposition protests, sparked in part by a freeze placed on public employees' salaries.

Swaziland is looking for loans worth up to $150m from the African Development Bank to inject urgently needed funds into its depleted coffers.

The International Monetary Fund has called for greater austerity in the country, in particular spending by the royals, and better accounting practices by the government. The fund has indicated the country would need financial support to meet its obligations.