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Economic Meltdown Pangs South Sudan Amidst Civil Servants’ Salaries Delay

Juba, Nov. 25 (The Nation Mirror) – Economic meltdown created anxiety among South Sudanese populace, amidst three months civil servant’s salaries delay. The latest climb  of the US Dollar against South Sudanese Pound sparks skyrocketing food commodities’ prices across the country. 

Inflation in the war-ravaged young nation started rising sharply after the breakout of the civil war in December 2013.  Subsequently followed by government decision to adopt floated rate of local currency against dollar in 2015.

scrumbling for bread in juba
customers struggling to access bread at Bakery in Juba, photo Source: The National

John Tor, father of three, a government employee, told The Nation Mirror in an interview that the situation is becoming unbearable despite government promises to pay the civil servants’ their salaries.

"Imagine a director like me is now trekking from home to work simply because I can’t afford to fuel my car, I have remedy to either be begging or borrowing from friends who are working in private companies just to get end meet for my children,” Tor said tearfully. 

 

 Adding, “You may now have a clear picture of the situation of staff of lower grades or those who are not expecting any salaries, “he posed.

Economists raised concern on how the low-income earners in the country would survive in the coming days. Experts projected that South Sudan economy is at a threshold of collapse, unless the government come up with quick economic measures to salvage the ailing economy.

 

Dr. Augustino Ting Mayai, Senior Specialist at Sudd Institute said the speed the exchange rate at the parallel market is worrisome.Today a $1 is trading at 103 South Sudanese Pounds compared to yesterday figure of 100 SSP. 

 

He added that citizens had hoped for economic improvement despite shaken peace pact signed last year that ushered in fragile unity government. The events unfolded after July violence introduces the nation to yet another grim situation.

"Our government doesn't have citizens at heart, otherwise the coalition government wouldn't have formulate good economic policies that can enable the nation to sustains economic recovery,” Luku Thomas said.

 

The U.S Dollar steadily continues to gain momentum against Local currency since 2014. The latest dollar’s exchange rate has prompted citizens to blame President Salva Kiir’s government for being “reluctant” to address the economic meltdown in order to salvage the situation. 

Garang Atem Ayiik, an independent economic commentator said, “H.E President Kiir should replace Central Bank governor as part of demonstrating his concern with worsening economic crisis in the country – doing nothing is not an option to him”.

South Sudan gained her independence from Khartoum in 2011, since then the youngest republic has been struggling to deliver services to the public and paying her employees timely.

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