The origins of the current scholarship loan scheme can be traced to pre-Independence nation building efforts. The 1977 King’s Order in Council captures the spirit of those efforts: the Order sets conditions for loans to be advanced Swazis wishing to pursue tertiary qualifications, a loan that would be discharged by working for at least 5 years in the Civil Service after graduation. Successive governments have embraced the spirit to the scheme as a means to both match demand and supply in the skills sets required by employers and entrepreneurs in Swaziland and to raise the range and quality of skills of Swazis.

Study Loan and Scholarship Order enacted through the King’s Order-In Council 8/1977. It regulates the current scholarship agreements arrangement. Of particular importance is that the said Order has a deeming clause at §3 which reads as follows:

a) Notwithstanding the express terms and conditions of any Agreement, the following terms and conditions shall be deemed to form part of such Agreement, whether or not such Agreement has been entered into prior to or after the commencement of this Order, namely:
  • Any person to whom a grant or loan, as the case may be, has been made under the Agreement shall be obliged on completion of the study course in respect of which such grant or loan has been made to return to Swaziland and undertake such employment in the Civil Service of Swaziland as the Minister may allot to him and shall remain in the service of the Civil Service for not less than 5 (five) years after completion of such clause.
  • Provided that the Minister may at any time in writing consent to such person taking up employment elsewhere that in the Civil Service:
  • And provided further that the Minister shall not be obliged to allot any post to a student unless, having regard to such student’s qualifications, there is a suitable vacancy for him in the Civil Service.

b) In the event of any person not undertaking the employment allotted to him by the Minister as provided for in paragraph (a) or in the event of his not completing his study course or in the event of his leaving the employment allotted to him without the written consent of the Minister, such person shall be obliged to repay the full amount of such grant or loan, as the case may be, within such period of time as the Minister may determine together with such interest thereon as the Minister may, in consultation with the Minister for Finance, determine (not being less than 6 per cent per annum or more that 12 per cent per annum) calculated from the date when such loan or grant, as the case may be, was made. The King’s Order gave responsibility for the scheme to the Minister of Education. In 2009 responsibility was shifted to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security where a scholarship secretariat is a unit under the National Employment Department, headed by the Director of National Employment Service.
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