A SWAZILAND MP has urged the government to hike taxes on traditional healers to help solve a funding crisis.

The sangomas pay an annual licence fee of 10 emalangeni (R10), but MP Majahodvwa Khumalo said they had jacked up their charges fourfold in the past few years and should pay more.

“A majority of our people consult traditional healers but the money they pay to [the] government falls far too short of the money they make,” he told parliament.

Swaziland’s budget deficit ballooned to 15 percent of its annual economic output in 2010. The International Monetary Fund declined to launch a bailout because of reluctance by King Mswati III, who has a personal fortune estimated at $200 million (R1.7 billion), to cut royal spending. The IMF has rated the scope for raising more taxes as “small”.– Reuters