In a shocking revelation for South Africa's banking sector, our currency, the Lilangeni, has been caught in the web of the South African rand manipulation scandal.

The revelations, which emanate from an investigation by South Africa's competition commission, have cast a shadow over the common monetary area countries (CMA) especially eSwatini, a country already grappling with economic instability.

The scandal, which has been alleged to be part of the reason the rand lost approximately 50% of its value, from just under R7.00 to over R13 against the US dollar during the period between 2007 and 2013, dragging the Lilangeni, Lesotho Loti, and Namibian Dollar down with it.

This drop undoubtedly eroded purchasing power, fuelling inflation and poverty across the four nations. In response to the findings by the competition commission, the South Africa's government, through Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, has condemned the banking sector's role in this debacle. She specifically called out ABSA, a South African bank, for its alleged involvement in the manipulation.

This comes after The UK's Standard Chartered Bank, implicated in this fiasco, agreed to a paltry R42.7 million penalty. SABC news reports that the banks were involved in an n elaborate currency price fixing scheme that saw them collectively profiting up to a trillion rand a day.

Due to the fact that eSwatini maintains a 1:1 currency peg with the rand, The Bridge raises a crucial question: What has the Central Bank of eSwatini done in response? Is there a contingency plan to protect the Lilangeni from such manipulation in the future?

Recently an article in the Observer boasted about our low debt-to-GDP ratio. However, with internal debt levels under control, what has the Central Bank done to address the risk of this kind of currency manipulation?

As delves deeper into this story as we keep focus on its impact on eSwatini and its currency. The demand for transparency and accountability has never been more urgent. We will continue to uncover the details of this far-reaching scandal and its profound effects