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Swaziland's Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Macford Sibandze, has announced the date when the upcoming Umhlanga (Reed Dance) public holiday would be observed.
The Minister was speaking, yesterday, on South Africa's SABC 2 Morning Live program, promoting Swaziland as a tourist destination.
Though the aforementioned announced date confirms the one we have forecast, we are a bit hesitant to consider the Minister's statement as an official announcement, for the moment, for 3 reasons.
First, by tradition, the announcement of the date of the Umhlanga (Reed Dance) public holiday, usually occurs much later (see, for example, 2008-08-15 and 2007-08-28).
Secondly, as per the Legal Notice No. 25 Of 2009 (Assignment Of Responsibilities To Ministers, Notice 2009) signed by King Mswati III in February 2009, it is the Ministry of Home Affairs which is responsible for setting the dates of public holidays in Swaziland, and not the Ministry of Tourism and Environment Affairs.
Finally, we were approached, last year, by the Swaziland government, asking us how we could have predicted the date of the Umhlanga public holiday. Therefore, it is possible that the date announced by the Minister is actually based on our own forecast, a date which has been published for over a year by many of our African diary publishing clients.
We will continue to monitor further developments and will make an announcement as soon as an official announcement is made.
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