Accessibility links

Swaziland Needs $11 Million to Reopen Only University

Swaziland's education minister says the country's only university needs $11 million to resume classes.

The University of Swaziland was set to begin its academic year this week, but failed to open as the country's government deals with a severe cash crisis.

The crisis has left the tiny southern African country struggling to pay health care costs and public workers' salaries.

Earlier this month, South Africa gave Swaziland a $354 million bailout loan contingent on fiscal and government reforms.

Swazi activists have long criticized the country's ruler, King Mswati, for wasting and mismanaging the country's resources.

The king leads a lavish lifestyle, with more than a dozen wives, while most of the population lives in poverty.

The Swazi government receives half its budget from the Southern Africa Customs Union, SACU. But that revenue has declined by 60 percent due to the global recession and because of a new revenue-sharing system that was recently implemented.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.