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Civil Society threaten to sue Gov’t over Number plates

By David Mono Danga

Civil Society activists threatened to sue the government over unnecessary changes of number plates.

This comes after Jubek State Members of Parliament announced that it would pass and approve state vehicle and motorbike number plates and driving licenses regulation 2018 next week.

The state lawmakers said it would allow the state Licensing Authority to commence its work as soon as possible. This act has raised concerns from ordinary citizens, the drivers’ union and the civil society organizations.

In an exclusive interview with Juba Monitor yesterday, the Executive Director of Foundation for Democracy and Accountable Governance [FODAG] Jame David Kolok said the civil society would not tolerate the authorities if they do not sympathize with the citizens during this economic hardships.

“It is  not reasonable for the government including the state government to go quickly to change the number plates and subject people to another payment,” Kolok said.

He added that if the authorities pass the driving licenses regulation act 2018 they (the Civil Society) will provide another petition and that it does not work this time the civil society will take the government to court to ensure that the citizens are protected, not exploited and to ensure that the citizens are given ample time to raise the necessary resources for the changes upcoming.

“As long as our economy experiences challenges we need to minimize unnecessary charges against the citizens,” he reiterated.

Kolok said the civil society will sue the authorities for undermining the people who gave them the powers they are misusing.

Last year the coalition of civil society organizations petitioned the lawmakers that the civil petitioned the parliament and the Council of States regarding the issuance of number plates and driving licenses. We are gratefully that the powers have been transferred back to the states. However, the concern is that how often or how much are the citizens supposed to pay while acquiring these licenses?”

“The frequency of changing the number plates is alarming because it has become quite often. Every time a number plate is being changed citizens are being charged. We don’t have any problem with the state providing number plates because it was the reason we petitioned the authorities last year.”

“our concern is that when these states take back this power they need to take into account the current economic situation in relation to the cost of these number plates and the duration in which people change from whatever number plate to the new one.

At this time where people have just changed to the SSD, citizens should be given ample time to change from whatever number they have to the Jubek state numbers or any of the 32 states.”

Kolok said authorities should conduct massive consultative processes explaining why citizens should change from a certain number plate to another instead of holding just one press conference. He added that decisions that are taken in isolation of the public are undermining the power of the people that is being given to the members of parliament who are supposed to act on their behalf.

There have been controversies between the states and the national government as to who is to issue the licenses and number plates since the launching of the unified SSD number plates in 2016.

The Jubek state classification and description of vehicles Number plates shall include,

State government vehicles and motorbikes number plates shall bear yellow plate with black letters and number. International Code of the Republic of South Sudan (SSD) at the top left corner of plate with black letters and numbers. The state initials (JUB.G) and the state logo black rhino at the bottom left corner of the plate. The vehicle registration number at the bottom right corner of the plate.

Public service vehicles and Motorbikes shall bear green plate with black letters and numbers. The international Code of the Republic of South Sudan (SSD) at the top left corner of the plate. The national flag at the top right corner of the plate. The State initials (JUB.G) and the state Logo black rhino at the bottom left corner of the plate and the vehicle registration number at the bottom right corner of the plate.

The heavy commercial vehicles shall bear black plate with white letters and numbers, international Code of the Republic of South Sudan (SSD) at the top left corner of the plate, the Republic of South Sudan flag at the top right corner of the plate. The State initials (JUB.G) and the State logo black rhino at the bottom left corner of the plate and the vehicles registration number at the bottom right corner of the plate.

Private vehicle and motorbikes shall bear white plate with black letters and numbers, the international Code of the Republic of South Sudan (SSD) at the top left corner of the plate and national flag at the top right corner of the plate. The State initials (JUB.G) and the State logo black rhino at the bottom left corner of the plate. The vehicle registration number shall be at the bottom right corner of the plate.

The National Non-Governmental Organizations (NNGOs) vehicles and motorbikes shall bear green color at half top of the plate and white color at half bottom of the plate. The National Non-Governmental Organization (NNGOs) at the top left corner of the plate. Registration Serial Number at the top right of the corner of the plate. The State initial (JUB) and the State logo black rhino at the bottom left corner of the plate with the vehicle registration number at the bottom right corner of the plate

According to Jubek State vehicles and motorbikes number plate and driving licenses Regulation 2018. No state shall be allowed to issue their states vehicles and motorbikes number plate within Jubek State. Any other state vehicles and motorbikes shall not be allowed to operate public transport without Jubek State numbers plate including foreign vehicles doing business in Juba. All state vehicles moving in Jubek State shall be given limited time not less than three months.

 

 

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