Supporting The Public Sector of Swaziland
Public spending on education was eight per cent of GDP in 2011. There are seven years of compulsory education starting at the age of six. Primary school comprises seven years and secondary five, with cycles of three and two years. Some 67 per cent of pupils complete primary school (2010).
The University of Swaziland offers degrees in agriculture, commerce, education, health sciences, humanities, sciences and social sciences, and incorporates the Institute of Distance Learning. Swaziland College of Technology provides diploma and certificate courses in building, business, education and engineering. The Vocational and Commercial Training Institute offers business and technical training. Literacy among people aged 15–24 is 94 per cent (2010).
Private education institutions are not widespread throughout Swaziland. Examples of those that do exist include Edu-care Centre, a pre-primary school located in Big Bend Swaziland, and the Sifundzani Primary School, located in Mbabane, which operates as public–private partnership.
Public spending on health was six per cent of GDP in 2012. Services are provided by the state, missions and some industrial organisations. Seven out of ten people use an improved drinking water source and 57 per cent have access to adequate sanitation facilities (2012). Infant mortality was 56 per 1,000 live births in 2013 (150 in 1960). In 2013, 27.4 per cent of people aged 15–49 were HIV positive.
The country’s main hospital is the government hospital in the capital Mbabane. Health providers other than the government include faith organisations and private providers. Approximately 62 private clinics and 22 industry-supported health centres and clinics are currently running in Swaziland.
The Ministry of Health officially launched a National Health Policy 2007 which sought, among other things, to promote equitable distribution of health services and co-ordinate the public and private sectors. The government’s vision for the health sector is that by 2015 Swaziland will have developed efficient and effective health care system that will contribute to a healthy, long living population.
There are 3,590 km of roads, at least 30 per cent paved, linking Swaziland with South Africa and Mozambique.
Rail: A 300 km railway traverses the country, giving rail, as well as road access, to Swaziland’s nearest ports – Maputo in Mozambique and Durban in South Africa. State-owned Swazi Rail manages the infrastructure and runs freight services. Rovos Rail and the Shongololo Express run luxury rail tours of Swaziland for tourists. In January 2012, South African company Transnet and Swazi Rail signed an agreement to build a new railway between South Africa’s Mpumalanga province and western Swaziland.
Airports: Matsapha Airport is the country’s international airport, located near to Manzini. A new international airport, King Mswati III International Airport, at Sikhuphe to the east of Manzini, replaced Matsapha as the principal international airport in 2014.