A view of the busy Yambio market III [©Gurtong/ Joseph Nashion]
By Joseph Nashion
YAMBIO, 22nd April 2012 [Gurtong]
Most business persons allege shortage of hard currency in circulation as the cause of the rise in commodities prices. They also blamed the austerity measures by the government of South Sudan as a major cause.
The condition has compelled Mr. Santino Boroyo, a resident of Yambio town to stop buying certain types of food in order to spend the little money he has wisely.
“The last time I enjoyed a good meal was during Christmas time at my neighbours’ house, at that time a full chicken went me 25 South Sudanese Pounds, this days a small chicken of a kilogram is sold up to 50 SSP; yet I earn 250 SSP monthly as police guard,” he said.
Boroyo said the government should do something to contain the high cost of living.
Another trader at Yambio market, Mr. Abisai Edward who imports and sells assorted merchandise revealed that since December 2012 he has not been able to import goods from Uganda due to insufficiency of the US dollar in circulation.
“We only have the Kenya Commercial Bank here in Yambio dealing with various hard currencies. When I need to buy US dollars they limit me to only $ 3000 per month which is very little when exchanged to Ugandan currency,” Edward claims.
He also said that the cost of hiring a truck from Arua in Uganda to Yambio used to be 3 million Ugandan shillings per 7 tonnes but the cost has since doubled. “Some of our traders with small capital are likely to run out of business if such situation continues,” Edward said.
For Suzan Nagomoro one of the internally displaced persons who recently returned from Khartourn the situation is not welcoming. “We just arrived to our mother land with hopes that everything will be ok, I have not yet gotten a job and with the rise in commodities prices I don’t know what I can do to earn a living,” Nagomoro said.
Mr. Steven Tangun, a South Sudanese independent economist informed Gurtong of the current economic crisis that South Sudan is undergoing.
“The strict economic measures determined by the Government of South Sudan can be termed a “necessary evil” at this tough economic time. The only reasonably sound decision but which without surprise constitutes very miserable economic conditions to the common man on the road”.
Tangun said that "you don’t need a PhD in Economics to know that a drop in government expenditures has overwhelming impact on the supply of money in circulation" which in the end results in low aggregate demand, low outputs, low incomes, and other macroeconomic maladies including inflation and unemployment.
He concluded that, South Sudanese have to look further than the eminent doom, invest their labour, capital, land, and time in domestic production, defer leisure and face the reality, which when the dust clears, could put the country on a more stable economic road.