'Reduce your prices or else we will close your business' - Juba Deputy Mayor
Deputy Mayor of Juba for infrastructure Thiik Thiik Mayardit has instructed traders in the city to adjust their prices or risk being shut down by council authorities.
The announcement came in an address to media yesterday amidst a drop in the exchange rate between the US dollar and South Sudanese pound. A weak dollar has led to a temporary inflation of the prince of consumer goods, threatening the purchasing power of average citizens in Juba.
Thiik Thiik noted the recent rise of market prices in the capital, and has strongly urged traders to reduce their prices until exchange rates stabilise. He said that although the decision to close shops would not be taken lightly, it was necessary to enforce compliance.
Given the prevalence of a currency blackmarket in Juba, it has often been tricky to judge the future trajectory of the SSP against the dollar. Despite this, sources are reporting that $1 is now selling at between 400 an 450 SSP.
Following the Deputy Mayor's announcement, a number of traders have complained that state price fixing is yet another unreasonable demand from authorities on top of high and inconsistent tax rates.
Many stall owners in the capital have appealed to market forces, and suggested local government allow the domestic economy to work and stabilise naturally.