News / Africa

South Sudan Parliament Passes Austerity Budget

John TanzaCharlton Doki
South Sudan’s Parliament passed a budget of 6.6 billion South Sudanese pounds for 2012-2013 on Thursday.
The budget is less than last year’s budget, which was 10 billion pounds.

The biggest cuts came in foreign travel, salary bonuses, overtime, and housing allowances for government employees, including the army and organized forces.

Civil service salaries account for the biggest part of the budget, followed by spending on security and the judiciary.

South Sudan is operating on what has been called an austerity budget, due to the shutdown in January of oil production, which accounted for 98 percent of government money.
While presenting his budget proposal to parliament earlier this year, Finance and Economic Planning Minister Kosti Manibe warned against overspending, which he said could lead to a government deficit.

Manibe said, “I call upon the august house to ensure the implementation of the Public Finance Management and Accountability Act passed last year to ensure transparency and discipline in the implementation of the budget.”

Jok Madut Jok, the Director of the Sudd Research Institute and an undersecretary in the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, says that security is the government’s “major priority,” as evidenced by the fact that the security budget was virtually unchanged.
South Sudan has been relying on donor money from other nations and its reserves.

The Sudd Institute estimates that the government has no more than $1 billion in reserve, which could be a problem with a budget that is much larger.  Jok thinks Juba may have spoken with other countries about loans to help it through the difficult times.
He said the budget will result in a “marked reduction” in service delivery, “especially in the area[s] of education, security and health care and other such services.”  But, he added, “On the whole, the impact is not going to be so great in the lives of the majority of the people who are not getting any benefits anyway, in terms of salaries being spread only among the political class and civil service.”
Jok said any “reduction in the size of the government is actually a lot more symbolic than being a solution to the economic troubles of the country.”
‘’This is a budget that [would have] pleased the people if had it been implemented many years back,” he explained.  “You are now doing austerity simply because there is no money.’’

Jok suggests that an austerity budget introduced in the past would have made possible more investment in the nation’s development.

Listen to Doki story on South Sudan austerity budget
Listen to Doki story on South Sudan austerity budgeti
|| 0:00:00

Listen to John Tanza interview with Analyst Madut Jok
Listen to John Tanza interview with Analyst Madut Joki
|| 0:00:00

You May Like

Syrian Rebels Poised for Anti-Russia Collaboration

Forty-one insurgent groups issue joint statement vowing retaliation for Russian air offensives More

Political Maneuver Revives Export-Import Bank's Chances

Parliamentary tactic gets bill out of committee, but it faces opposition in the Senate More

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs