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South Sudanese complain about high market prices

As South Sudanese Pounds continue to depreciate, commodity prices across the country have increased sharply.

The economic crisis in the country has affected the purchasing power of many poor people and now many cannot afford to buy basic commodities.

Some traders in Juba are appealing to the government to look into the rising cost of living in the country.

Our Reporter visited one of the largest a market in Juba Konyokonyo and spoke to some traders.

One of the traders who refused be named said the high rate of the United States Dollar has forced them to increase commodity prices.

The trader said that the depreciation of the South Sudanese pounds has made it even difficult to determine market prices.

I want the government to look into this issue of dollar because it’s affecting us the business community badly. When we increase commodity prices our customers/clients complain yet we buy these items very expensive from the wholesalers,” he stressed.

He added that the economic crisis has affected his business because few people are now buying commodities from him.

A vegetable vender, Joyce Josephine said the economic crisis has negatively impacted her business because her customer base has reduced drastically.

She added it is difficult to buy other basic commodities because after selling the vegetables the money cannot even help buy other basic needs.

Josephine lamented that she has never seen the United States Dollar for once in her live but now she is suffering greatly because of the USD currency.

“I have never seen dollar in my life since I started selling in this market. But if I go and buy other things like salt, sugar, soap etc the prices have gone high making it very difficult for a poor woman like me. I want the person who introduced the use of hard currency to change that because life is hard for poor people like us,” she reiterated.

Another vegetable vender a widow and a mother of eight Theresa said the high cost of living in Juba has made life difficult for her family.

She added the money she gets from selling the vegetables cannot feed her eight children.
Early this month the minister of trade and industry Kuol Athian said there is nothing the government can do to stop the local currency from losing value.

The South Sudanese Pounds has been depreciating drastically following the drop of the country’s oil revenues and irregularities in the collection of non-oil revenue.

This prompted the President of the Republic Salva Kiir to form an economic crisis management committee to devise ways of revitalizing the economy.

Though the committee has been formed, the impact or result of their work has not yet been reported to the public.

Currently 1 US dollar is equivalent to 480 South Sudanese Pounds in the black market.


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