South Sudanese Pound
South Sudanese Pound

South Sudan on Wednesday said it has decided to lower work permit fees for foreign workers by 50 percent in the country in the wake of public outcry, especially from humanitarian agencies.

Baba Medan Konyi, deputy minister of labor, Public Service and Human Development, said the government has reduced the work permit fees by half to enable foreign consultants to work in the country after the signing of the revitalized peace agreement in September last year.

“The work permit for consultants or managers was 4,000 U.S. dollars and there was issue of the rate being expensive. So we have sat with the ministry of finance and foreign affairs and we have agreed in the new budget that we have to accept payment of half for example if you were paying 4,000 dollars you will be paying 2,000 dollars,” Konyi told journalists in Juba.

In March 2017, South Sudan increased work permit fees for foreign workers from 100 to 10,000 dollars as a measure to fight economic crisis. The finance ministry said at the time that the hiked fee would raise vital revenue for the cash strapped government to fund its activities.

But the increment prompted an outcry from humanitarian agencies who described it as way of restricting work of foreign aid workers, forcing the government to suspend the policy.

In November 2017, the labor ministry announced revised work permit fees of 4,000 dollars for consultants and managers, professionals were charged 3,000 dollars, while technicians and casual workers will pay 2,000 and 1,000 respectively.

South Sudan is currently working to implement peace in the wake of warring parties agreeing to end a five-year old conflict that displaced millions internally and externally, hence causing one of the biggest refugee crises in the region since the outbreak of conflict in December 2013.

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