Home | News    Thursday 13 April 2017

South Sudanese Pound loses further value against U.S. dollar

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April 12, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudanese Pound (SSP) depreciated further against the United States Dollar (USD) in the second week of April, triggering hikes of market commodities.

$1 USD fetches SSP 146 on the black-market, up from $1USD for SSP 135 in the first week of April. Traders have attributed the increase to the Christian Easter holidays.

“Many people are purchasing United States dollars to send to their families for holidays in East Africa and those who receive their salaries in dollars are not selling because they are likely to spend the festival season with their families outside South Sudan,” a South Sudanese economist asking to be identified as John said.

Black-market dealers credit the economy’s deterioration to the government, who fail to boost the local circulation of money and pay civil servants timely.

“So money is just circulating in the hands of a few top politicians, those who have the connections to get from the Central Bank (of South Sudan) and send to their families. Everyone else is suffering in silence,” said Kun Majok, a black-market dealer.

On Tuesday, Jubek State civil servants, led by the workers union, stormed the office state ministry of labour and demand three months wages and an increment.

“We have not been paid for three months, since January this year (2017) and you are expecting us to continue to work,” said Andrea Felix, a state employee who claimed to have not been going to work for the past two weeks.

“It doesn’t make any difference at all. Whether you go to work, spending your small savings on transport, buying water in town or staying away from work,” said Felix.

Central Bank of South Sudan and the Ministry of Finance abandoned the fixed exchange rate in December 2015 from $1USD to SSP 2.96. The exchange has since doubled several times, with some economists estimating that the SSP lost more than 90% of its value since December 2015.

The inflation rate is estimated at 900%, one of the highest in the world. However, government employees, including teachers, health workers and other professional receive between SSP 600 and SSP 2,000 or $4 to $13 on the current black-market exchange rate.

President Salva Kiir fired both Central Bank governor and Minister of Finance last year and appointed new replacements with the hope of improving the economy but the situation continues to deteriorate.

“The situation will continue to worsen unless the government addresses corruption in the oil sector, designs clear and well managed local taxes and customs duties,” said an employee in the National Ministry of Finance, requesting anonymity to speak freely.

South Sudan depends on oil sales for 90% of the revenue but the low global oil price means less US dollars is received monthly. The finance official said the behaviour of tax collectors and senior government politicians has not changed for better.

“We are still in the same situation, where customs officials spend revenue and oil money as they wish, small as it might be, it is mismanaged,” he added.

South Sudan oil sales are managed by state-own Nile Petroleum (NilePet). This giant oil company has come under the spotlight for mismanagement, with junior employees leading lavish lifestyles despite the worsening economic situation in the country. In an article, published by Sudan Tribune last month, Juba resident and leading blogger Deng Kiir Akok under the heading: “Wedding in Juba - How can you tell if a bridegroom works for NilePet?” shed a grim light.

“In case you come across wedding cars out there on the roads, it’s easy to tell. One need not waste time guessing where could be his place of work. If the wedding cars are Land Cruiser V8, then automatically that bridegroom works for NilePet or simply call him a Nilepeter,” Deng wrote, adding that most employees, including himself, have suspended their birthday’s celebration, not to mention luxurious weddings.

NilePet declined to comment when contacted.

Deng, whose story was widely shared on social media by South Sudanese said he was warning locals about dangers of crossing the road on weekends between Freedom Hall, the main wedding centre west of Juba and Juba-On-Time photo studio.

“My message to Juba pedestrians is that they should be watchful of wedding cars while crossing roads on weekends, especially on the road that links Freedom Hall in Custom, Marx Studio in Nimra Talata and Juba-On-Time Studio at Mobil roundabout,” he added.

For the economy to improve, economists say the war between the government and the armed groups in various parts of the country has to stop.

(ST)

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  • 13 April 07:32, by Resolution

    Mar. President should stop buying chemical weapons that he has been purchasing since 2012 when preparing for war let the Dinkas advisers advise him to channel the donated fund to developmental projects for him to rid from economic worsening in the country. if $1 USD fetches SSP 146 on the black-market what do you think where this young nation is heading. dollar Oyee, inflation oyee.

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    • 13 April 10:12, by Kuch

      Mr. Resolution, Don’t worry chap, but do you have any solution to the current war in our country or you are being used the evil corporate Camera, the UK, their UN, their sleazy NGOs and some of their criminals in our country? If you don’t, then please be very careful>>>

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      • 13 April 10:19, by Kuch

        South Sudanese people didn’t take arms to be fed the US, the UN, the UK, their UN, their sleazy NGOs and some of their criminals in between. We took up arms not to depend on anyone. Why we just grow our own foods and we are going bomb the damn white Americans, English people, their evil juus, their NGOs and some of their of their evils in between>>>

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      • 13 April 10:22, by Kuch

        South Sudanese people didn’t take arms to be fed by the US, the UN, the UK, their UN, their sleazy NGOs and some of their criminals in between. We took up arms not to depend on anyone. But our own selves, so why we don’t we grow our own foods? And let us going bomb the damn white Americans, English people, their evil juus, their NGOs and some of their of their evils in between>>>

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        • 13 April 10:33, by Kuch

          out of our country? Fellows, be very careful. South Sudan is Adinka/Jieng country and North Sudan is Dinka/Jieng of the Sudan country. And we will never ever allow any rubbish from any country here in our country to toy around with our country and our people, not again.

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        • 13 April 10:34, by Kuch

          out of our country? Fellows, be very careful. South Sudan is Adinka/Jieng country and North Sudan is Dinka/Jieng of the Sudan country. And we will never ever allow any rubbish from any country here in our country to toy around with our country and our people, not again.

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          • 13 April 13:16, by Dengda

            @ Kuch
            I think you are suckling blood money or beneficiary of the war or else you completely lost your mind, as its shows how you write and duplicate the same comment all over.

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    • 13 April 10:26, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      Every things is needed to be changed in South Sudan including life of the people must be change by God. Oh God ear me.

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    • 13 April 10:32, by Midit Mitot

      Shit! where is Mr. Akuma and his bro? look at your leadership guys, is it a country or it seem so?

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      • 13 April 11:04, by Akuma

        Mitot,

        All fundamental measures to restore the country’s economic and political situation back to it normalcy are underway.

        Please inform your bandits & gangs who are still holding guns to abandoned rebellions and join government with National Dialogue initiative and this is where the country will achieved all its needs.

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        • 13 April 12:37, by Midit Mitot

          Akuma,
          How will you guys preach for national dialogue while your tribal Militia call Mathiang Anyoor are still killing civilians in the country? like in Wau, Lou Nuer land and greater equatoria etc.

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        • 13 April 14:37, by jubaone

          Akuma
          If you can’t run your junk jienge states on stolen money, how can you run a whole economy with half idiots and illiterate luakjienges? Running an economy is not similar to running after cows. There’s more to that. You can’t read a Book 2 English book and claim to be a English teacher. Look at Dep Min of Finance, no academic qualifications but son of jienge kiirminal elder.

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  • 13 April 07:47, by Eastern

    People can resort to using cow skin in lieu of the SSP banknotes.....!

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  • 13 April 09:49, by engatuny

    Axing the governor and minister is not a solution; option of reverting back to fixed exchange rate is not helpful either....its just text book knowledge we are applying.

    Action on ARCISS so that peace returns & oil production increases to level prior to 2012 shutdown. Livestock keepers need to leave cultivable land to those whose tradition is agriculture so that they concentrate on farming.

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  • 13 April 09:52, by deng kual acot

    The truth must be said and spokent from the true people.
    As SSP looses value against foriegn currency, is so the SPLMA and our Tribal leadership headed by His Execellency Salva Kiir is Loosing Value and popular support too in S.S. Believe me, if the regim can normalize this current exchange rate to $1 USP to fetch 8 SSP, know that we shall continue to reign in leadership in S.S & not enslave later

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  • 13 April 09:58, by deng kual acot

    The best thing to do here is for His Execellency to consult with his God Father H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to Send Assistance Lecturers from Uganda to come and Lectur Salva Kiir with His Subjects on he country Economy and the Exchange Rates. If Dr. Profesors, They will not understand them and the lectures will create no meaning or impact on the egim.

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  • 13 April 10:18, by deng kual acot

    I fail to understand why traditional theory and belive of a Cow/Cattle be transfered to National leadership that, when taken to drink clean Water, first DEFICATE, URRINATE and MIX the WATER WITH MADD in order to DRINK IT. Salva and his Reign/Tribal regime.

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  • 13 April 12:49, by Future1

    Too dangerous for the common men and women. Let us stop wars and build our country.

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  • 13 April 13:11, by Dengda

    Sentry report from enough project carry water, there are beneficiary of the war and they believe that if war stop and peace return, the will get anything apart from reforming agendas which they hate the most. Mathiang Anyoor and tiger may have secret payment that why the enjoy and like fighting, ministers and others easily get dollars for their families and travel, economic is far more reach.

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    • 13 April 15:51, by Tim Atiep

      Dengda,i hope your comments should not make any sense at all if you are preaching the song of war,no separate payment done to Mathianganyor to fight the rebels nor Tiger instead they are for self-defend when they are attacked by rebels of your Boss Riek Machar.Am from Nuer Lou and i can’t support nonsense of Riek preaching for War in South Sudan instead for Peace.

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