Traders have blamed the price hike for basic commodities such as food, soap and sugar on the
multiple taxes levied on their businesses by the state.
Moses Sule, a trader at Suk Libya market in Juba, said the rise in prices of commodities are
beyond their control, adding that the unstable exchange rate is hurting business.
“The increase in commodity prices starts with taxes and the dollar exchange rate, the hard
the currency exchange rate has increased so much, that we do not want the prices to increase because
the customers cannot buy,” Sule told the Juba Echo on Thursday.
He said that most of the traders are spending away idle time with no sales as would-be buyers
shy away from their shops.
Assam Mohamed Ahmed, who runs a shop selling basic commodities at Nyakuron market,
called on authorities to stabilize the exchange rate to rein in inflation.
“The main problem affecting business is inflation, the increase in prices is due to an increase in
the dollar exchange rate. We want the dollar rate to be controlled the prices will definitely
come down,” Ahmed said.
The U.S dollar has recently appreciated against the local South Sudanese Pound in the parallel
market rising from the previous 43 SSP to now 47 SSP.
The East African region and entire Sub-Saharan Africa is currently witnessing high fuel and food
prices which economists have blamed on COVID-19 and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war that
has disrupted global supply chains.
Jackline Poni, who always frequents Suk-Libya market to buy food items, said that the high
commodity prices are hurting ordinary consumers with low purchasing power.
“The living cost is really going up, there is no money and the prices in the market are increasing
every day,” Poni said.
A bag of 50 kg of maize flour has since increased from 10,000 SSP to 15000 SSP, and a 50 kg bag of beans rose from 22,000 SSP to 27000 SSP.
One kilogram of sugar is currently going for 1000 SSP from the previous 500 SSP.
Robert Pitia, the Chairperson for the Central Equatoria State Chamber of Commerce, said that
the government needs to unify tax collection to end multiple taxations.
“We need to cooperate with security organs and relevant institutions who are collecting money
so that we work hard to address market issues, there is duplication of taxes for example, in
Juba City Council there is what is a service fee for development and in state revenue authority
there is something called development tax,” said Pitia.