Botswana’s share of revenue from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Common Revenue Pool registered lower performance as it fell from P15.818 billion recorded in 2015/16 to P11.773 billion in 2016/17.
In overall, the SACU revenue pool declined by R9.61 billion from R88.898 billion in 2015/16 to R79.286 billion in 2016/17 which represented a decrease of 12.1 percent. As a result, Botswana’s revenue share for the period also dropped significantly by 28.9 percent from R20.039 billion in 2015/16 to R15.547 billion in 2016/17.
Being a member of SACU, like other SACU Members, Botswana is required to pay all the collections of customs duties, excise duty and additional duties into a Common Revenue Pool (CRP).
According to the Botswana Unified Revenue Services, during the year under review, Botswana collected and paid a total amount of P417.5 million into the CRP compared to P587 million which was collected in the previous financial year.
The new figures at a time when Botswana and other SACU members are engaged in talks relating to the revenue sharing formula amongst member states.
In the 2016/17 financial year, the revenue sharing formula for member countries was: 20 percent for Botswana, 50 percent for South Africa, 18 percent for Namibia, 6 percent for Lesotho and 7 percent for Swaziland. However, most member countries have expressed unhappiness over the percentage that South Africa gets arguing that it is too high.
Oddly, South Africa also says the revenue-sharing agreement is unjust as they pay large amounts in customs revenue to other member states every year.
The contentious revenue sharing formula has three parts, that is, customs, development and excise. Allocation of customs is based on each member country’s share of intra-SACU imports, while excise is derived from each member’s share of the gross domestic product.