Businesses in Yei remained closed as South Sudan faces economic woes

Oct 19, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — Despite the government’s efforts to plead with traders to open their businesses, shops in Yei River County, Central Equatoria State remained closed as the South Sudan Pound continued to depreciate in value.

Petrol seller in Nimule, South Sudan.(Photo credit: courtesy image/Nyamilepedia)

Petrol seller in South Sudan.(Photo credit: courtesy image/Nyamilepedia)

These traders told a local radio station that they would only resume business once the South Sudanese currency regains its value as they use the dollar to import goods into South Sudan.

Businesses are afraid to transact for the fear of making losses.

“We have closed because the market is operating out of hand. The dollar exchange rate is extremely high, 100 dollars is now exchanged at 65,000 SSP and the goods we have in stock can no longer help us to buy other goods. We urge the government to address this issue with seriousness because we don’t know what will happen tomorrow,” Mohamed Alfathi, a hardware trader at Yei town pleaded.

Moses Taban, another business owner in the town blamed the government for issuing statements that has led to the pound value dropping at an alarming rate.

“You cannot decide and publically announce a currency change plan, you cannot declare bankruptcy to the public as a government. And, also, the weak financial institutions and control of our business economy by foreigners contributed to this big mess in the country,” Taban added.

For the traders who open the businesses, they are forced to sell goods at double price, a price that the consumers are unwilling to pay.

Edward Luba, chairperson of the Yei Chamber of Commerce appealed to all traders in the area to open their shops and sell to the people at reasonable prices.

 “We have to continue operating and open our businesses to our customers despite high prices in the market. Besides, closing shops for the public is against business laws and sells at reasonable prices until some changes in the future.” He said.

The government has pleaded with them to open their businesses and continue serving customers.

After thorough deliberations, the cabinet decided to appeal to those business owners and traders, who have closed their shops, to open them to  serve the public.

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