28 June 2012

South Sudan: Kiir Tells South Sudan Governors to Prepare for Austerity Measures

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 has been hit by economic fragility as the government decided earlier this year to shut down its only export, the oil, which provided for 98% of the country's revenues amid growing tensions with Sudan.

Last week the cabinet resolved to impose 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 was however encountered with a lot of criticisms from the public, fearing that life will be more difficult as prices of basic commodities get higher including house rents.

Kiir on Thursday told the governors that 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.

The Governor of Lakes state, Chol Tong Mayay, who made a press statement shortly after they met Kiir said there was elaborate briefing by the President on what was going to come.

Reliable sources speculate that Kiir considers reshuffling the cabinet which aims at reducing 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.

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