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public finance

Date Snippet Page
2014/07/14 Tonj civil hospital has run out of injectable drugs, while Tonj town is virtually cut off by rains on poor roads. The problem of drug supply seems to be more general, in Warrap state at least. Snippet: Tonj civil hospital has run out of injectable drugs, while Tonj town i....
2014/07/02 The Finance Minister tables an annual budget for South Sudan in parliament. The amount is reduced from SSP 17.3 billion in 2013-4 to SSP 11.3 billion. He reveals that South Sudan has debts of about SSP 10 billion. 74% of the budget is devoted to the salaries of government employees and the security sector. The minister complains at 'fiscal indiscipline', largely meaning corruption. Snippet: The Finance Minister tables an annual budget for South Sudan in parlia....
2014/06/16 Only two out of Juba‘s eight public electricity generators are working. Funds have just been released by the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs to buy repairs and maintenance from the sole supplier, but it will take at least 6-8 weeks. Snippet: Only two out of Juba‘s eight public electricity generators are worki....
2014/06 Eden money transfer business has been hard hit by lack of business following widespread non-payment of government salaries during the recent civil conflict. Snippet: Eden money transfer business has been hard hit by lack of business fol....
2014/06 More than a thousand SPLA soldiers desert their posts in Jonglei apparently as a result of non-payment of wages for as much as much as six months. Snippet: More than a thousand SPLA soldiers desert their posts in Jonglei appar....
2014/06/02 Oil income in the 2013-4 financial year was USD 3.5 bn. After deductions for loan repayment and agreed contribution to Sudan, the revenue for GRSS was 1.9 bn, according to the oil minister. Snippet: Oil income in the 2013-4 financial year was USD 3.5 bn. After deductio....
2014/05/30 The cabinet directs the Finance Minister to borrow more money to fund development projects. Snippet: The cabinet directs the Finance Minister to borrow more money to fund ....
2014/05/28 South Sudan has borrowed USD 200 million from oil operators and delayed repayment of domestic loans, says the finance minister. This follows a fall in oil production caused by the ongoing rebellion. Snippet: South Sudan has borrowed USD 200 million from oil operators and delaye....
2014/05/12 The WBGS assembly raises taxes on alcohlic drinks from 30 to 50 percent. Snippet: The WBGS assembly raises taxes on alcohlic drinks from 30 to 50 percen....
2014/05/13 Ghost workers on payrolls are still causing huge losses to corruption, says Interior Minister Aleu Ayieny. He claims to have recovered nearly SSP 2 billion by payroll reform through his ministry, but says the 2013/4 rebellion has left many more ghost workers again. A Salary Payment Committee failed to control the phenomenon, and has been dissolved. Snippet: Ghost workers on payrolls are still causing huge losses to corruption,....
2014/05/10 RSS will soon open embassies in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Snippet: RSS will soon open embassies in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE, accordin....
2014/05 One borehole is available for 19,000 people in part of Terekeka County, meaning that many people take drinking-water from roadside pits. The county commissioner says government funds are lacking and appeals to aid agencies to solve the problem. Snippet: One borehole is available for 19,000 people in par....
2014/05 A women‘s coalition inspects EES state prison in Torit and finds alarming sanitary and welfare conditions, which a prison officer attributes to inadequate state funding. Snippet: A women‘s coalition inspects EES state prison in....
2014/05 The road linking Kuacjok (the Warrap State capital) to Tonj South County, Lakes and NBGS is likely to become impassible during the rainy season unless there is special help from the national government, says the Tonj South Commissioner. The 'social taxes' of SSP 30 per household raised at local level are inadequate to maintain the road. Snippet: The road linking Kuacjok (the Warrap State capital....
2014/04/30 The National Crisis Management Committee is blamed by the NBGS Education Minister for still blocking payment of teachers' February salaries, leading to stoppages of schooling in the state. Snippet
2014/04 Nile Commercial Bank plays a big role in a trade delegation to China (led by presidential legal affairs advisor, Telar Deng). Snippet
2014/04/16 RSS signs key legal agreements with the World Bank's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), which should help attract investors to the country. Snippet
2014/04 Government in Bor is providing hard currency to selected traders, apparently in order to bring more imported goods to the area. Snippet
2014/04 South Sudan is in the process of buying into the proposed Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) network project for East Africa (along with Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda), according to the project's Joint Technical Committee. This will entail a railway line between Kampala and Juba. Snippet
2014/03 WBGS Chamber of Commerce says vehicles moving from Juba to Wau must pay SSP 4,000 at road checkpoints. The police spokesperson says such 'taxation' is illegal. Snippet
2014/03 Health facilities in Abyei, including Agok hospital, are reportedly suffering 'terrible' shortages of basic supplies and equipment. Snippet 1711
2014/03 Traders in Torit complain at irregular and excessive taxation. The EES government is said to have plans to unify tax collection. Snippet 1709
2014/03 The rebellion crisis has diverted government money away from agriculture, according to the agriculture minister in WES. Snippet
2014/03 In Aweil and Renk, market prices of some consumer commodities have fallen dramatically compared with last year. This seems to be due to easier trading across the Sudan border. Snippet 1667
2014/01 to 2014/03 The black market price for dollars in Rumbek falls from SSP 5 in January to SSP 4 in early March, but transport costs for goods from Uganda remain high. Snippet
2013/09 GRSS devalues the SSP and cut subsidies on fuel and cooking gas. There are popular protests. Snippet
2014/03/09 The foreign ministers of Egypt and South Sudan discuss trade, investment, and Nile water issues. Snippet
2014/03 A South Korean overseas investment company, Make Group, is to revise and renew its MOU with the telecommunications ministry. Snippet
2014/03/08 A delegation of South Korean investors meets the finance minister, Aggrey Tisa Sabuni. Snippet
2012/02 Key infrastructure projects have been put on hold due largely to insecurity associated with the 2013/14 rebellion, according to the Ministry of Transport, Roads and Bridges. Projects affected are the Juba-Bor-Malakal-Renk road, the Juba-Yei-Kaya road and the much-needed second Juba bridge. MOUs have been signed with Chinese companies. Another factor is lack of clarity in investment policy and bank guarantees. Snippet
2014/02/28 Trucks bearing relief aid from Juba are having to pay heavy 'taxes' at roadblocks - USD 1 to 3 thousand to Bor; 3 to 6 thousand to Bentiu - according to civil society organization CEPO. Snippet 1493
2014/02 CES governor Clement Wani Konga visits China and reaches understandings with the China Communications and Construction Company on various infrastructure and commercial projects, largely to be paid for (and presumably owned) by the Chinese. But few details are as yet provided by the governor. Snippet 1464
2014/02 Four Lakes state officials are suspended, apparently on orders from caretaker governor Dhuol, after allegedly organizing teachers' demonstrations against the state's stoppage of civil servant allowances. The governor says the allowances are only for the military, but others say they are due for all civil servants. Snippet
2014/02 Prices of food and water have soared in Juba since the 15 December rebellion, resulting in acute hardship for many, and secondary violence as people rob and loot for food. Snippet
2014/01 Over a hundred students from Lakes State studying in East Africa complain because the Lakes State governor has stopped the allowances which in many cases they depended on. Snippet 1408
2013/10 Staff from Kapoeta North and Torit Counties receive training in public financial management funded by CBTF (Capacity Building Trust Fund) Snippet 1371
2013/10/16 Lecturers at Juba University, JGUST and UBEG call off their strike after the NLC allocates SSP 8 million in the final reading of the national budget. Their allowances are to be reinstated as from October. Snippet
2013/06 to 2013/10 South Sudan received USD 1.3 billion from oil sales between June and October, according to the oil ministry. At the same time it paid USD 0.33 billion to Sudan as tariffs and Transitional Financial Agreement payments. About 85 per cent of the oil was produced from the Upper Nile fields. Snippet
2013/10/08 The education minister says that the allowances of university lecturers (who are striking) cannot be reinstated until January 2014, because the government's oil revenues have not yet returned to pre-shut-down (January 2012) levels. Snippet
2013/03 to 2013/10 Lakes State government has been operating without a properly-approved budget, due to disagreement between the acting governor and the state parliament Snippet
2013/09 The World Bank has been helping the Central Bank of South Sudan to establish a credit-reporting bureau. Snippet 1218
2013 The town authorities of Aweil and state authorities of NBGS are welcoming and appreciative of Ethiopian and Eritrean investors who rent land and make concrete buildings. Snippet 1208
2013/08/24 The WBGS finance minister explains to the state parliament that the July salaries of state employees have not yet been paid because the national Ministry of Finance sent the salaries without the 4% 'state portion revenue collections'. The state governor was currently in Juba trying to get a solution. This situation was said to be common to all the states. The national Ministry of Finance had already imposed a cut in the state budget of almost half. Snippet
2013/08 The 2013-2014 GOSS budget has to be re-structured due to the re-arrangement of ministries, and its passage is delayed. It's draft total was SSP 17.3 billion. Snippet
2013/01 The national finance ministry makes and agreement with state ministries on taxation, in which the states retain revenues from income tax on their own employees and agree to cooperate with the centralized collection policy. Snippet 1166
2013/08 President Kiir acknowledges that in the past he authorized Telar Deng - at that time his legal affairs advisor - to approve USD 600 million, apparently for land for the National Security Services. The acknowledgement is made as a response to tough examination by the Legislative Assembly's vetting committee of Telar's suitability to be appointed as justice minister. Snippet 1135
2013/08/07 New finance minister, Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, say he will simplify the taxation system in an effort to increase non-oil revenues. Snippet 1126
2013/07 to 2013/08 Prices of transported goods rise sharply in Bentiu in a few weeks. The price of a sack of sorghum increases from SSP 200 to SSP 300. The timing of the increase is associated with heavy rain making roads almost impassable. Some blame trader exploitation. Traders blame taxation. The state director of taxation says goods are taxed at five percent, a lower rate than in other states. Snippet
2013/07 The CES government 'welcomes' the setting up of a sugar plantation and factory in Terekeka County, by Uttam Sucrotech International, an Indian company. Snippet
2012/08 Manepali Sugar Works Limited reportedly signs $350m agreement with CES for sugar works in 100,000 acres in Gemmeiza. (CRN 2012/08/18) Snippet
2013/07 The director general of mineral development surmises that the value of gold produced by 'local miners', untaxed and mostly unofficially exported, could be about USD 600 million per year. The main sites are Greater Kapoeta in EES, Udabi in Morobo County in CES, and Pachalla in UNS. Snippet
2013/07/22 SSLA ratifies agreement for RSS to join the African Development Bank. Snippet
2013/06 Upper Nile State Governor, Simon Kun Puoch, tries to put all tax collection in the hands of the state rather than the national government authorities Snippet 1009
2013/07 Upper Nile State cannot get enough tax receipt forms from the national government, so has to use Sudanese ones instead. Snippet 1008
2013/02 GOSS spokesman says that tenders will be issued for oil concessions in sub-blocks in a transparent way. Snippet 981
2013/04 A World Bank Economic Brief [not found on the internet on 12 Apr] criticizes GoSS for allowing public expenditure (particularly on wages) to become very high - at $300 per head, much higher than its neighbours - while public investment is still low. Snippet 833
2013/02 A GOSS minister says South Sudan has recently 'finalised the sale of several oil concessions worth between $200 million and $300 million each'. One is rumoured to be with a Nigerian company. More such deals are hoped for in order to ease GOSS's finances. (Reuters, 14 Feb 2013) (But compare this with Snippet 981.) Snippet 679
2013/02 The Government of NBGS starts collecting household taxes for state revenues (Hou Akot Hou/The Niles, 4 February 2013) Snippet 613
2013/02 'In practice, most of the investment in South Sudan is still from neighboring countries, especially Kenya (for banking and transport), Uganda (for retail and telecoms), Ethiopia (for hotels), and Eritrea (for retail and hotels)' (Alex de Waal, 2013) Snippet 602
2011/12 to 2012 US government hosted an investment conference for South Sudan in December 2011. It's enthusiasm for this was spurred partly by 'strong connections between South Sudan and influential U.S. constituencies, including churches, celebrity advocates, and Israel'. But US investors have not been able to find many feasible projects. (Alex de Waal, 2013) Snippet 601
2012 IMF estimates that RSS's GDP contracted by 55 percent in 2012 (due mainly to oil shutdown) (Alex de Waal, 2013). Snippet 600
2012/08 Aug 2012: South Sudan is deemed to qualify for concessional (0%) loans from the IMF. And IMF sets up $10m 3-yr trust fund for building capacity to manage the economy. (AFP 28 Aug) Snippet 559
2011 to 2012 CES operates without approved budget or budget reporting in 2011-2012, allegedly because the federal MoFEP did not provide a budget ceiling, due to struggling with the change in the financial year. (Miraya 15 Aug 2012) Snippet 504
2012/06 The SSP lost 40% of its value between Feb and June 2012, the black market rate coming to about SSP 5 per USD (Kosti, 2012a). Snippet 434
Reference Mini-review
Daniel Akech Thiong, 2014/06/06. Bibliography item: Daniel Akech Thiong (2014/06/06) "Why SSP Gained Agains USD After Dec. 15, 2014". (Article). Gurtong. [Article] Gurtong. Accessed online.

Short article with interesting economic analysis. Plausibly argues that the main reason for the SSP's strength in the last six months is the non-payment of government salaries, particularly to soldiers who defected.

Garang Atem Ayiik, 2014/05/20. Bibliography item: Garang Atem Ayiik (2014/05/20) "South Sudan Pound Appreciation, Risks and Policy Options". (Article). PaanLuel Wël. [Article] PaanLuel Wël. Accessed online.

This article sets out to understand why the SSP has strengthened against the USD in the black market since December 2013, and why bank are refusing or rationing withdrawals of USD from USD bank accounts. The author surmises that USD are leaking from the Central Bank into the black market without passing through the official market, and that too many SSP are being held in the banks. He recommends that the asset position of the Central Bank should be monitored, and that more SSP released into the economy (by prompt payment of salaries) to prevent a catastrophic reduction in economic activity.

Alex de Waal, 2014/04/27. Bibliography item: Alex de Waal (2014/04/27) "Can there be a Democratic Developmental Peace?". (Article). World Peace Foundation, Tufts University. [Article] World Peace Foundation, Tufts University. Accessed online.

Originally an address to African leaders at the Tana High Level Forum, this (sometimes provocative) article emphasizes the way states are financed after peace agreements. A 'rental peace' (based on sharing of state resources among factions and their leaders) is sustainable only while the national budget expands. It can marginally be improved by better ways of managing, regulating and using money. But a 'democratic developmental peace' is more like the one in Burundi, where there were many contending parties and talks became a kind of exercise in national civic education.

Garang Atem Ayiik, 2014/03/15. Prospects of South Sudan Joining East Africa Community – Highlighting Risks and Policy Options [Article] PaanLuel Wël. Accessed online.

Serious but clear policy article which argues that the immaturity of the economy means it would be dangerous for South Sudan to become a full member of the East African Community. It would not help exports because South Sudan is not structurally ready to become an exporter of much besides its oil. South Sudan also still needs freedom to set its own monetary and fiscal policies. It should apply for observer status for the time being instead of immediately becoming a full member.

Gabriel Garang Atem Ayiik, 2014/03/06. Examining the Exchange Rate Policy in RSS: Who was Right between Parliament and the Bank of South Sudan [Article] PaanLuel Wël. Accessed online.

Sophisticated but accessible analysis of exchange rate policy.

Hou Akot Hou, 2013/02/04. Household taxes operation starts in Aweil [Article] The Niles. Accessed online.

Useful short description of a traditional kind of taxation through chiefs.

Kosti Manibe Ngai, 2012/06. 2012-2013 Budget Speech [Operating document] Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. Accessed online.

Very clear statement of the challenges and policies of managing government revenues and spending, at a time when austerity is needed due to the cut-off in oil production. It proposes cuts in expenditure on salaries (down 22% to SSP 2.9bn), operating (down 47% to 1.3bnn) capital (down 80% to 0.4b) and transfers (down 10% to 1.6bn) within total planned spending of SSP 6.4bn. The planned financing of this was about SSP 0.6bn from non-oil revenues, SSP 1bn from reserves, 1bn from domestic loans, and 3.7bn from foreign loans and sales of petroeum and mining concessions.

Jason Hickel, 2012. Constituting the commons: oil and development in post-independence South Sudan [Chapter/section] In Karl Lindquist and Mike Howard (eds) 'Exporting the Alaska model'. Palgrave Macmillan. Accessed online.

Outlines some of the policy challenges posed by South Sudan's oil resource, and recommends several very ambitious and thought-provoking measures. These include fixed proportional budget categories for the spending of government oil revenues. 15 per cent to be immediately distributed in cash to all adult citizens, who would also receive a regular dividend from a permanent oil revenue investment fund. This would form a basis for personal taxation. Both the dividend and the taxation would improve the quality of the social contract between government and people.

GOSS, 2012. The Petroleum Revenue Management Bill, 2012 [Operating document] Ministry of Justice. Accessed online.
GOSS, 2011/12/23. The Taxation (Amendment) Act, 2011 [Operating document] Government of South Sudan. Accessed online.

Makes minor changes to the Taxation Act, 2009, the main one being the institution of a business profit tax. The rates are 10% for 'small', 15% for 'medium' and 20% for 'large' businesses, but the meanings of 'small', 'medium' and 'large' are not defined within the Act.



GOSS budgeting, 2005 - 2011


The chart on the right and table below show the amounts of money that GOSS planned to receive and spend in its annual budgets, 2008-2011, along with the actual amounts received and spent, 2007-2010. It appears that the amount of actual government spending was determined more by actual revenues than by spending plans. Actual revenues came almost wholly from oil production shares, and their variation in these years mainly reflected changes in the global price of oil.

This difference between budget and outcome raises questions about the quality of much of the spending, and the administration of reserve funds. In 2008, revenues were double what had been planned, and actual spending was 67% higher than the planned amount. The windfall income was mostly disbursed to the various ministries, but about SDG one billion was left for reserves (ref). An oil price collapse meant that income and spending were sharply down in 2009. They were still above the cautious levels planned in the annual budget, but there were nevertheless signs that ministries could not keep within budgets or well control their unplanned spending. In March 2009, arrears of salaries led to rioting by disabled soldiers in parts of Eastern and Central Equatoria States (ref); and in June the government had to ask donors to provide an extra USD 58 million to meet its share of the Multi-Donor Trust Fund programme (ref).

The second chart and table show that the occasional windfalls from high oil prices were spent in ways classed as 'operating' and 'capital'. (The exact nature of this extra spending might require further research.) Spending on salaries was relatively stable. It appears that, after the initial setting-up of GOSS in 2005-2006, spending on salaries drifted up. However, these figures have not been adjusted for inflation and/or depreciation of the Sudanese pound against the dollar.

Questions to pursue

  • What were (and are) the GOSS control mechanisms for spending against annual budgets?
  • Was there (and is there) a GOSS policy on treatment of oil income surpluses and deficits?
  • What has been the quality of non-budgeted spending of windfall oil revenues, especially in 2008?
Chart of GOSS revenues and spending, budgeted and actual, 2007-2011

Chart 1: GOSS spending and revenues, budgeted and actual, 2007-2011

Source: see table below for the source data.

Year SDG millions
  Budgeted revenues Budgeted spending Actual revenues Actual spending
2007 n/a n/a 2,978 2,936
2008 3,464 3,428 6,790 5,713
2009 3,658 3,606 4,240 4,235
2010 4,503 4,483 5,757 5,576
2011 5,767 5,767 n/a n/a

Table 1: GOSS spending and revenues, budgeted and actual, 2007-2011

Source: The data mainly comes from PEFA, c2011, Table 2.1, p.22. Figures for actual revenues and expenditures are the same here as in the South Sudan Statistical Yearbook 2011, Table 12.3, p.91, which is the source for the 2007 outcome data.


Chart 2: GOSS spending by salaries, operating and capital, 2005-2011

Source: See table below for the source data.

Year Spending type, SDG millions
  Salaries Operating Capital Total
2005 35 402 15 452
2006 1,186 1,438 958 3,582
2007 1,480 1,058 398 2,936
2008 1,873 2,227 1,612 5,713
2009 1,977 1,255 1,002 4,235
2010 2,205 2,280 1,091 5,576
2011 2,433 2,076 1,258 5,767

Table 2: GOSS spending by salaries, operating and capital, 2005-2011

Notes: Figures for 2005–2009 are confirmed outturn. Figures for 2010 are provisional outturn. Figures for 2011 are approved budget.

Source: South Sudan Statistical Yearbook 2011, Table 12.3, p.91

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Indicator values are shown in the table below alongside the year for which they were assessed. For further information, click on the source and 'details' text. Put the cursor over the indicator values to see selected comparisons.

Year Indicator Value Details
GDP per person (USD)
Stat 908
GDP (USD billions)
Stat 907
Exports (USD billions)
Stat 906
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