Home | News    Saturday 6 August 2011

Poor roads force Juba—Bor drivers to pay ‘by-pass’ taxes

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August 5, 2011 (BOR) – Travellers on the damaged Juba—Bor road are being asked to pay extra fees to be allowed to use paths through homes along the highway as the main road has become risky to drive on.

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A four-wheel drive vehicle struggles to reach Bor from Juba on 4 August 2014 due to the deterioriating condition of the highway in Panwel in Bor county (ST)

Local residents claim that the fee is compensation for the damaged the cars cause to their land.

As transport fares continue to rise in South Sudan, owners of public transport are now being asked by people who live next to the Juba-Bor road to pay a fee to use their area so that they can avoid travelling on damaged or flooded parts of the road.

Passenger buses have stopped travelling from Bor to Juba due the conditions on the road but four wheel drive vehicles still transport people. Fares have increased from 50 South Sudan Pounds to 100 SSP. This increases to 120 SSP during the rainy season.

Drivers travelling to Bor on Thursday told Sudan Tribune that the doubling of prices was due to taxes, bad roads and increases in fuel prices. The new charges for using short-cuts through villages and homesteads is also adding to the cost.

“You pay 20 South Sudan pounds at Magula, 10 SSP at Gemeza (Central Equatoria state), 20 SSP at Pariak and 10 SSP at Pakua (Jonglei state) as taxes,” a shocked driver said when asked why fares are increasing.

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Hard-top cars struggling to reach Bor from Juba as the highway continues to deteriorate in Panwel in Bor county, Jonglei state. August 4, 2011 (ST)

On top of this local taxes are paid at state and counties boundaries. Since the Juba—Bor highway passes through Central Equatoria state and Jonglei, two state taxes are levied on public cars. Teregeka and Bor counties on the border of the two states apply taxes as well.

At Panwel and Goi in Bor county, Jonglei state, where the road is completely submerged by water, four-wheel cars are the only vehicles that can pass but even they have to go off the road and must pay to be allowed through.

“If you don’t pay, you will not pass,” a woman in Panwel County shouted at a car a Sudan Tribune reporter was travelling in. She claimed that passing next to her hut damages it as the cars can create holes that can fill with water and effect the walls.

She blocked the by-pass with wooden logs with help of other women who together told the driver to pay a fee or return to Juba.

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Flooded part of the Bor - Juba road in Panwel in Bor county, Jonglei state. August 4, 2011 (ST)

When asked why she demands money for the car passage, she said “ask the government why the road construction never reached Bor area.” The driver paid her 20 SSP and the ‘check point’ was removed. The same
fee applies to traffic going both ways.

Construction of Juba—Bor road started in 2007 but came to a halt a few kilometres into Jonglei state territory.

The caretaker minister of transport and road in the Republic of South Sudan, Lino Makana said recently that construction was delayed due to lack of funds despite the project being included in 2011 national budget. It is unclear why the funds are lacking.

The ministry of roads and bridges in the Government of South Sudan on Wednesday said all road construction campaign promises made by President Salva Kiir, during last year’s general elections, will be implemented by 2015.

“We know all the president’s promises but they cannot all be implemented this year, we will implement them in phases till 2015,” said Director General of roads and bridges, Abraham Mabor, explaining the 2011 budget allocated to the ministry does not cover internal roads in each of the ten states.

“Much of the budget for 2011 will be spent on roads and construction of bridges connecting main places and town[s]. The ministry is also prioritising feeder roads connecting agriculture schemes and projects”, he added.

(ST)

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  • 6 August 2011 06:16, by Land-of-Cush

    Dear readers
    (Quote) the ministry of roads and bridges in the Government of South Sudan on Wednesday said all road construction campaign promises made by President Salva Kiir, during last year’s general elections, will be implemented by 2015.

    Why not implementing the roads construction from now to 2015? This man doesn’t even know the promises are always records of bad and good of someone’s future. Any way loots those money, the right leader will come next election.

    repondre message

    • 6 August 2011 06:23, by Ahmed Chol

      After all, we all pay a price as South Sudanese when the pound inflates and looses its value in the whole region. Inflation is when you buy little service or good with lots of money!

      After the business men pay lots of money for transportation, the price of whatever they are transporting will be expensive in the local market, sure Kuol and any other better off people may afford it but other poor residents may not be able to.

      Ahmed Chol, whatever begins in anger, ends in shame

      repondre message

  • 6 August 2011 06:20, by Ahmed Chol

    After all, we all pay a price as South Sudanese when the pound inflates and looses its value in the whole region. Inflation is when you buy little service or good with lots of money!

    Ahmed Chol, whatever begins in anger, ends in shame

    repondre message

  • 6 August 2011 06:37, by kinagonago

    South Sudan is a country now. Those in power must construct "real" highways that last longer but not "rasmie" and avoid using public funds for personal used.

    repondre message

  • 6 August 2011 07:27, by belle loboi

    All ten States need nation building not only one State.
    we need to complain as whole not one State otherwise that is a sign of corruption or confusion to our government.

    repondre message

  • 6 August 2011 07:56, by Space

    I too don’t just understand the policy of this Govt. Jonglei State is a stratgeic State neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya through Kapoeta-Pibor route as well. Connecting Jonglei to Ethiopia will enhance better movements of goods and services that can benefits South Sudan at large. Despite the interets, Ethiopia is not an enemy to us and two Nations can benefits from such ties. if that is the case, then Jonglei State Govt must raise its money or request USAID or do it as joint project with Ethiopia Govt to build that roads. It is very unlikely that Jonglei may benefit from services of this Govt.

    For the last 6years, Jonglei was and still getting the same budget with some states which have 6 Counties and relatively low population compare to Jonglei which has 11 Counties and more than a million population. You fail to comprehend why?

    Juba- Bor Road is 8hrs drive and if it is build, it will benefit Jongeli, Uppernile and Unity State as well. Not constructing that road leaves us puzzling as to what this Govt is upto. There has to be equitable distribution of resources. That is very very important.

    Jonglei Govt must be serious on this. They are not asking for anything but they must demands. We need to conect to Greatter Uppernile Region through Bor- Ayod-to Malakal-Renk and to Unity State. Where are these Roads Minister for Roads was talking about being built? I stand to be corrected here guys. things are not moving well as anticipated. If Jonglei fail to address this need, then they can open ways for people who know what their people wants.

    repondre message

    • 6 August 2011 08:05, by belle loboi

      Space,
      I totally agree with you in this matter but what we need now is nation building from Unity State, Jonglei State, Upper Nile and all other States. Also, connecting our new nation with other countries such as Kenya, Uganda and many others.

      Thank you Space for your contribution and you make a good point. I can see you are very educated man not like other folks in this website who preach tribalism. KEEP IT UP WITH GOOD WORK.

      Professor Loboi

      repondre message

      • 6 August 2011 13:09, by Space

        Thanks Mr. Loboi. there are no better services president can talking about than Roads. Billion of dollars is spent on roads which are not visible. It might not be Uppernile case as such but it effects are far reaching the whole Nation. South Sudan was relying on Uganda imports but now that Uganda Govt has moved to ban export of basic commodities, we will be left with Kenya which is struglling with famine/drought. So they will reduce export of basic commodities as well.

        What is the next option? Khartoum is not a reliable trade partner as politial developments always intefere with trade. So Khartoum is not a likely heaven. Why not open Ethiopia Road? This will make market very competitive and bring down the cost of commodities to affordble amount that South Sudanese can be able to pay. When supply is greater than demand, it benefits the consumers. This can be good for our struggling Nation. And remember our people are not producing anything at the moment. They have become consumers but not producers.

        This is a challenge to our Govt. We should not only know politicking and how to remain in power and you don’t understand the economic and social factors whose consequences are more disastrous than war. Have u guys heard of drought in Horn of Africa and East Africa? what plans is there to mitigate it? Food Security Govt is talking about cannot be realised now. It may take two years or so and before then people should have died if there is no better alternative.

        repondre message

    • 7 August 2011 04:06, by Deng-monydit

      @ space
      I personally like your argument citizen, I wish all the leaders of south Sudan should sometime read the comments on the web to see what the citizens thinks about their country. Instead, the are busy there drinking beers, taking tea under the trees and talking tribalistic politic.
      There the day passed and the went home and say to their kids I was at work, what kind of work is that you lie to your people? Damn them leaders and may God give us the visionary leader that will always be listening to his followers.

      repondre message

  • 6 August 2011 08:04, by Nhomlawda

    Juba – Bor – Malakal – Bentiu – Renk is a key highway that must be prioritized by Government of South Sudan. It is a highway that connects the floodplains of Jonglei to Upper Nile and to Unity State.

    Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity have a population of about 3 million people. These states transport needs should not be considered a light thing by the president and his government.

    The government is now about delivery of services to citizens at a faster rate. Failure to do so or keep up with required rate of service delivery will mean terrible results for the ruling party at the ballot box in the next election.

    Time for leadership experiment has gone. It is now time to guide development and at faster rate to keep up with rate of challenges.

    repondre message

  • 6 August 2011 08:40, by kinagonago

    Let the born-to-rule minded folk do they work now. This is the time to put word into action as the saying goes, "action speak louder than words."

    repondre message

  • 6 August 2011 08:45, by Alier42

    The drivers are not to be blamed for the taxes paid on the way but the goverment of Kiir Mayar.i have witnessed it when i was travelling from Juba to Bor town ,at every check point, the driver was paying 10_20 ssp to the police officers then i asked the driver what was his benefit seen the fare paid to him by the passengers had been given to the police officers, then he told me there is no way out. if you do not pay them some money .in my own view it is too early for us in the new state to practice corruption on the road. i though corruption was only at the high level of the goverment but not at low level.the next ticket to the power in 2015 general election will be zero tolerant to corruption.

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