June 28, 2012 (JUBA) – President Salva Kiir Mayardit has briefed governors of South Sudan’s ten states on the austerity measures that will come into effect in the next few weeks and urged them to ’tighten their belts’.
- South Sudan President Salva Kiir (UN/Tim McKulka)
South Sudan has been hit by economic fragility as the government decided earlier this year to shut down its only export, oil, which provided for 98% of the country’s revenues, amid growing tensions with Sudan.
Last week the cabinet resolved to impose an austerity budget that would cut down on civil servants, stripping them of 50% of their housing allowances, freeze their incentives and make some of them lose jobs.
The proposal has however encountered a lot of criticisms from the public, fearing that life will be more difficult as the prices of basic commodities get higher, including house rents.
Kiir, on Thursday, told the governors gathered in his office that the coming measures will cut down on capital expenditures as well as reduce allocations to the states in form of block grants.
Reliable sources speculate that Kiir considers reshuffling the cabinet, aiming to reduce the number of ministries in the executive, though such a scenario was not spelt out in the initial proposed measures which are currently before the national parliament for endorsement.