10 January 2019

South Africa: Eswatini's Namboard Chief Executive Has a 'Conflicted' Business Interest in the Maize Meal Industry


The chief executive of eSwatini's National Agricultural Marketing Board (NamBoard), which controls the importation of maize and maize meal into eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), has a stake in a maize business, an amaBhungane investigation has revealed.

A well-placed NamBoard source said this meant Siphephiso Dlamini is conflicted, as he has a say in board decisions in which he has a vested commercial interest.

Siphephiso Dlamini. Photo courtesy: Swazi Observer

This applied particularly to an embargo on imported maize imposed by NamBoard in October last year, which shielded local producers from South African competition.

Dlamini denies any conflict.

Until recently, maize meal in eSwatini cost consumers almost twice as much as it did on the South African side of the border.

The price, which has risen steadily since 2015, is set by another parastatal, the National Maize Corporation, in consultation with maize and maize meal producers.

The NamBoard source told amaBhungane that Dlamini has a mill that grinds and sells maize meal commercially. The allegations were supported by workers interviewed at the mill, which is located in Lobamba near the Ezulwini Valley..

The board source also alleged that maize meal from the mill is sold to contractors of Montigny Investments, a timber...

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