Government officials faced with $10,000,000 USD Juba hotel debt
In a letter obtained by the South Sudan Friendship Press today, a number of Juba high end hotels have accused the Government of racking up more than 10 million USD in accommodation debts.
Signed by the Juba Crown Hotel, Royal Hotel, Radas Hotel, Red Ocean Hotel, Referenda Hotel, Astek Apartment, South Sudan Hotel, World Focus Hotel and James Hotel, the letter demands the Government’s accounts are settled within 5 days to avoid eviction of officials currently using paid accommodation.
It is claimed that the Government has been housing ministers and guests in a number of luxury hotels since 2019. However, no hotel has received payment, and the Government has gone as far as ignoring requests to settle accounts.
With Juba’s hospitality industry under threat from the effects of COVID-19, the hotels point out the increasing difficulty of meeting ‘responsibilities to workers and…other credits we owe to other business communities in the market’.
The average price of the hotels listed on the letter sits at around $200 a night. From this, it is not difficult to see how a total of $10 million USD has been accrued in around a year.
Despite this, many commentators are asking why the Government is housing its officials and guests in luxury hotels at such inflated prices. Given the urgent need for healthcare and infrastructural spending in South Sudan, $10 million USD on hotels has been described by some as wasteful.