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Gov’t embarks on adjusting salary structure for civil servants

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Thursday, June 10, 2021

File: Teachers in Jonglei in a past protest over delayed salaries. Teachers, medical practitioners and security officers are among the least paid in South Sudan. /Courtesy

The government’s economic cluster has passed a resolution to adjust the salaries of all civil servants across the country.

A new resource envelope for the fiscal year 2021/2022 budget was presented by the Minister of Finance on Wednesday.

It learned that the money allocated for current wages and salaries amounts to SSP 70, 326, 219, 798.

The cluster looked at the current pay scale and the available financial resources to make the adjustments.

“We need to look into their way of living,” an official in the economic cluster stated.

Government employees, especially soldiers, police, and teachers, are reportedly living in squalid conditions across the country.

A nurse and midwife in South Sudan earn between 2,000 and 5,000 South Sudanese pounds per month, while a doctor receives 6,840 Pounds a month – an equivalent of $38.

A foot soldier receives roughly 1,500 pounds or $6 per month.

This cannot pay for their food, housing, transport, and others.

“This is one of the main things that has been disturbing us a lot in South Sudan – more especially for those with low salaries,” said Josephine Napwon, Minister of Environment who is a member of the economic cluster.

In a meeting chaired by Vice President Dr. James Wani Igga on Wednesday, the cluster disclosed that the current pay scale amounts to 214, 607, 286, 902 South Sudanese Pounds.

This is among other finances allocated for supplies and other expenditures.

The Ministry of Finance outlined that, based on the new resource envelope, it has earmarked SSP 547, 604, 988, 99 for the new pay scale with new salary adjustments.

“So, the deficit that we will need to balance our budget will be SSP 332, 997, 701, 197. This is the amount that we will need so that we meet our current budget with the new salary structure,” Napwon said.

Experts say South Sudan receives millions of dollars in oil and non-oil revenues monthly.

The government has, however, been struggling to pay its workers.

Civil servants and other employees on government payroll often go for nearly 7 months without salaries.

Financial transparency and accountability campaign groups attribute the situation to corrupt practices among the top leaders, whom they accused of stealing from public coffers.

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