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JUBA - 19 May 2019

Civil servants unpaid for months – labour minister

Civil servants in government institutions in South Sudan did not receive their salaries for several months, a government official confirmed.

James Hoth Mai, South Sudan’s Minister of Labour, told Radio Tamazuj on Friday that government employees have gone unpaid for more than four months.

He noted that the delay of salaries was due to cash crunch in the world’s youngest country." Our civil servants have gone unpaid for about four months, that’s why the president has directed the minister of finance to pay some arrears this month,” he said.

“The ministry of finance can explain the issue better to our civil servants. But if the civil servants are not paid, it means there is no money,” he added.

Minister Hoth pointed out that a committee set up by his ministry has begun reviewing the salaries of civil servants, taking into account the country’s economic situation.

“The committee is working and it will come up with recommendations and the way forward. The committee is trying to compare the salaries with the prices in the market,” he explained.

The minister urged all government employees to be patient as the president and his cabinet work to clear salary arrears. He also called on the National Ministry of Finance to release salaries as directed by President Salva Kiir.

He revealed that plans are still underway to reform the civil service sector.

Several civil servants in the country confirmed that they did not receive their salaries for several months, while complaining about skyrocketing prices of goods at the market.

Oil production resumed in South Sudan, five years after production was reduced because of fighting between government troops and rebels.

President Salva Kiir and opposition groups failed to form a unity government as stipulated in the peace deal by May 12. The formation of the unity government was extended by six months to November.