Chamber of commerce calls for space provision to traders

By Bida Elly David

The Central Equatoria State Chamber of Commerce on Thursday called upon the government to provide business space for traders whose shops were demolished over the past week by Juba City Council.

Last week, the mayor of Juba City Council demolished all illegal buildings that were constructed along the streets of Juba City to reduce traffic jams.

Speaking to Juba Monitor on phone, the Chairperson of Central Equatoria State chamber of commerce Robert Pitia urged the nation and state government to intervene and rescue the displaced traders whose shops were demolished by the Juba City Council.

“Those traders are mostly South Sudanese who have rights since they contribute to the economic development of the country. Why are we making our own people suffer when the government can help them and make life easy for them,” Pitia reiterated.

Furthermore, he termed the decision taken by the city mayor towards demolition of these business shops as a manmade crisis that might result into social insecurity.

“What mayor is doing to these local traders is a man-made crisis creating discouragement to them and as a result, insecurity will be experienced. Taking them out of the market creates more poverty and total instability”, he added.

“The government should try to look for other alternatives because these people are South Sudanese and they have responsibilities, and a lot of problems facing them at their houses. The order has affected students’ vendors who don’t have guardians to pay for their school fees or someone to feed or cater for their needs.”

Stephen Wani Aquilino, the chairperson of the Juba City Chamber of commerce said demolishing shops without providing space for traders was a disaster.

“Over 60 percent of local businesses in Juba city are run by those who do not have approved space and taking those market spaces without replacement is a disaster,” Wani said.

Wani pledged with the government to allot the empty space near the University of Juba to traders.

“There is empty space near or next to Juba University custom campus. That place needs to be cleared, it can take our traders, or vendors who are practicing their business on the road, we need our traders to be accommodated inside those buildings,” he said.

However, he added that his office was working hard to secure and provide a business space to the displaced local business people to enable them run their commercial services to support themselves.

“We are working hard to secure a space behind University of Juba, Custom zone to ensure that the displaced are rescued. My administration is still in talks with the landlord for the provision,” he reiterated.

He added that instead of creating conducive environment for the local business community, city council created economic threats.

“Instead of creating conducive business environment and forming a committee to oversee such matters, mayor rushed to demolish shops that would have contributed to the economy,” he added.

He finally called upon local traders whose shops were demolished to stay calm until this matter would be addressed.

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