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JUBA - 2 Oct 2019

Civil servants unpaid for four months, says labour minister

Photo: Labour Minister James Hoth Mai
Photo: Labour Minister James Hoth Mai

A cash shortfall has seen government employees in South Sudan go unpaid for four months, Labour Minister James Hoth Mai said Tuesday.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj, Minister Hoth said the finance ministry had been unable to pay salaries to civil servants for four months.

“For four months our civil servants have not received salaries, so it is a problem facing the whole country,” Hoth said.

“The minister of finance was directed by the president to pay the salaries. He is now working so that our civil servants can receive their salaries,” he added.

The minister revealed that the new pay structure for lecturers at the public universities has not yet been implemented due to financial difficulties facing the national government.

In a speech to mark Independence Day in July, President Salva Kiir apologised to civil servants who went without salaries for several months. Kiir said the failure to pay the money was "caused by weak governance" in the departments that are supposed to raise funds and pledged to personally get involved in the issue.

South Sudan heavily relies on oil revenue.

The petroleum ministry plans to increase output to more than 350,000 barrels of crude per day by the middle of 2020, up from 180,000 barrels per day currently, according to official figures.