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Civil society demands action on salary increment

By Bullen Bala Alexander and Atimaku Joan

South Sudan civil society groups have welcomed President Salva Kiir’s announcement on recent salary increments but demanded swift actions on the implementation of the policy and use of oil to improve other key sectors of the economy.

In his address to the nation on tenth anniversary of Independence last week, President Salva Kiir declared that all government employees’ salaries would be increased by a hundred per cent in the 2021/2022 budget.

But the civil society group said, South Sudanese were tired of empty promises instead they wanted to see actions not just a mere statements.

Jame David Kolok the Executive Director-Foundation for Democracy and Accountable Governance (FODAG) said the increase of the civil servants salaries had been a cry from pubic.

“South Sudanese no longer want to hear words instead they want to see action,people need to see commitments to the promises from the leaders,” Mr. Kolok stressed.

He added that “If it is questions of increasing the salaries to or by 100 per cent, then it has to be seen as soon as possible.”

Mr. Kolok spoke to Juba Monitor yesterday exclusively

However, he said what should be considered was that the increase the government was talking about had to be backdated according to inflation in the country.

“What we would like to request is that the increase must be backdated at least reasonable for a year and according to the inflation rate in the country,” he added.

According to Mr. Kolok the calculation of salary increment should be based on the value of the money.

He explained that if people were getting SSP 3000 or 2,000 or whatever in 2012 that money had to be calculated in response to current inflation.

“When you talk of increasing salaries by 100 percent, the calculations of that salaries must be based on the level of inflation,” Mr. Kolok concluded.

Rajab Mohandis, Executive Director for (ORG)

Rajab Mohandis the Executive Director for Organization for Responsive Governance (ORG), said it was a good move however, arguing that the issue should not end just as a statement.

“The increase of the civil servants salaries by 100 per cent is definitely a welcomed development, something that would have been done earlier to improve the condition,” he stressed.

However, he said the overall salaries that have been increased by hundred per cent is unfortunately inadequate enough to meet the daily needs of civil servants even for a week.

“Even if it is being increased by hundred per cent, still cannot make any difference in civil servant’s life, so there is more that needed to be done beyond the increments,” Mohandis said.

He said the overall economy had to be really considerable and be improved together with the security situation to create conditions necessarily for economy.

“Within that context, the other things like the prices and the purchasing power of the ordinary citizens will adjust itself accordingly.”

He said the current salaries civil servants were receiving, wouldn’t help even if it was beyond 100 or 300 percent although the intention of government was to rescue the civil servants from the economic hardship.

He stressed that there was need for the government to focus on critical issues of insecurity, and economy broodily.

“Economy in our view, is a victim of security situation. The security situation should be improved, we believe that the economic situation may adjust itself accordingly and easily,” he added.

He said all these crisis regarding insecurity along the roads and conflicts must stop and the road constructions that the president was talking about should progress.

Meanwhile the Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress (CEPO) Edmond Yakani called on the country leaders to use oil revenue to enhance production of other sectors.

Edmond Yakani CEPO’s Executive Director

Mr. Yakani said for the country to strengthen its economy, there was need for the government to use oil money to improve others sectors like agriculture and mining.

At least the revenue that comes from the oil should be used to boost another production sector to ensure the country generated sustainable revenue,” said Yakani, CEPO Director.

He said focusing on different sectors would help the country to build a new trend to meet the interest of the citizens.

According to Mr. Yakani the oil revenue was something that the country could notrely on alone adding that it could never be guaranteed since it was non-renewable.

However, he said there was need for the leaders to speed up with the implementation of revitalized peace agreement in order to pave ways for the development in the country.

He said that the past ten years had been wasted without any development.

“We regret having some leaders who do not value the reasons as to why the people fought to gain this independence.”

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