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South Sudan: Juba Traders Threaten to Close Shops Over High Taxes

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Traders in Juba are threatening to close their shops to protest “high taxes” on their goods. They say their businesses are collapsing because of high and multiple taxations.

“The taxes are becoming too much, the fines are becoming too much, and all these [government] entities are in the market,” Robert Pitia, Chairman of the Central Equatoria State Chamber of Commerce, said at a press conference on Thursday.

Pitia further said the traders are frustrated and might decide to close their businesses if there is no solution found soon. “The only option the traders have now is to close the market, but we asked them to wait. So we are sending this message so that the government can address the issue,” Pitia said.

Meanwhile, Everdeen Agino, a representative of Kenyan traders in Juba, said they could no longer bear the heavy burden of multiple taxes imposed on their products.

“These people from the City Council they just come and when they see you are a foreigner, your license will be doubled. And since Covid-19 started all these businesses are down, and now the money we get cannot even pay the rent,” she said.

A representative of Ugandan traders in Juba, who only identified himself as Mr. Thomas, said: “In the market, everybody is selling the way he or she likes because there is no guidance from the government. So we request the government to guide the traders.”

Charles Ibrahim, Chairman of the Konyo-Konya Market Chamber of Commerce, blamed the Juba City Council for high and multiple taxes thrust on their businesses by government agencies.

“The City Council is responsible for the rising prices of commodities in the market because there are multiple taxes being imposed on us. People should know that businesses run by South Sudanese are collapsing and this is affecting all of us,” he concluded.

Officials at the Juba City Council could not immediately be reached for comment.

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