Swaziland Country Report
Strike action has been increasing in frequency despite attempts to refuse permits for labour protests, and is likely to rise if attempts are made to impose further austerity measures due to revenue shortfalls. King Mswati III called at the opening of Parliament in February 2019 for severe public spending cuts, even though wage freezes had previously been announced in March 2018 for employees of parastatals, after similar measures for civil servants. Major demonstrations took place in September 2018, called by the Trade Union Congress, to protest over pay, working conditions, and various socio-economic grievances. Government corruption occurs at all levels but is not endemic, though the Anti-Corruption Commission is ineffective.
The 2008 Suppression of Terrorism Act was amended in August 2017 when Swaziland introduced the Public Order Act, allowing for greater recognition of freedom of association, assembly, and speech. Critics of the terrorism legislation, including human rights bodies such as Amnesty International, claimed it was used to suppress those freedoms in order to blunt calls for political reform. The new legislation was sufficient to persuade the US to reinstate Swaziland’s AGOA status in December 2017, three years after it was rescinded. However, five poachers were charged with terrorism offences in September 2017 under the terrorism law, suggesting it will still be widely interpreted when deemed convenient.
Although Eswatini's crime rate is substantially lower than that of most other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, vehicle hijackings, burglaries, and street robberies are not uncommon. Other established crimes include cross-border smuggling (including of cars), wildlife poaching and cattle rustling, all of which have continued to capitalise on porous borders with Mozambique and South Africa. There are patrols along the border, but capacity is limited.
Eswatini’s bilateral relations are generally cordial with neighbours Mozambique and South Africa. There has been some previous diplomatic sparring over issues such as shared resources (for example, water from the Nkomati River with Mozambique) and borders with South Africa, but none of the disputes with either neighbouring country is remotely likely to result in war. Domestically, a failure to address growing calls for democratisation will risk further civil unrest at times of recurring economic hardship, and potentially more militant action, but civil war is highly unlikely.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required for all individuals traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Swaziland's climate is subtropical and dry. The dry season begins in mid-April and lasts until mid-October. Days are hot and sunny while nights are cool, even cold between May and August. The rainy season lasts from late October until late March. Rainfall is very heavy in the Highveld (west of the country).
There are no emergency services in Swaziland.
Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz