National, News

Acting mayor waives taxes on water tankers

By Gladys Fred Kole

Acting mayor of Juba City Council, Emmanuel Khamis Richard, has temporarily suspended taxes on water tanker operators.

No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper has seen a copy of a local order that the mayor issued on Monday, suspending the taxes.

The acting Mayor stated that the decision to temporarily suspend the taxes was due to a public outcry over the unnecessary water prices in the city.

He added that water suppliers mostly associate hikes in water prices to multiple taxes that cause them to increase the cost per a drum.

“I hereby direct the Chief Executive Officer of Juba City Council and the revenue department to temporarily suspend city council taxes imposed on the water tankers with immediate effect as a measure to reduce water prices.” Khamis’ order reads in part.

According to the acting mayor, during the period of the waiver, Juba City Council will be reviewing its rates and taxes being levied on the water tankers.

He further reiterated that the national ministry of water resources and irrigation and the urban water corporation should determine the scientific rates for the sale of water within and around Juba City.

“The above institutions are responsible for the production, control, and sale of water from the supply sources to the water tankers, and the police within JCC should cease daily inspection of water tankers and instead do it on a monthly basis in a designated location.” Khamis added.

Last week, the Juba City Council challenged the National Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation and the Urban Water Corporation to address water price fluctuations for city residents.

On July 13, acting Juba City mayor Emmanuel Khemis directed the chief executive officer (CEO) to sign an order giving water tankers to increase water prices to 1,300 SSP, up from 800 SSP.

Meanwhile, the former Mayor, Michael Lado Allah-Jabu, had earlier directed water tankers to lower prices from SSP 1,500 to SSP 800 following a public outcry.

The Chairperson of the Central Equatoria State Chamber of Commerce, Robert Pitia, confronted the mayor over the hike, arguing that the local order didn’t consider the misery of the citizens.

Both the National Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation and the Central Equatoria State Authority also rejected the water price increment.

They directed that the Juba City Council Authority revert the water price to SSP 800 per barrel.

The minister of water resources, Pal Mai Deng, in his letter addressed to the CES acting governor, maintained that Juba City Council does not produce water nor does it distribute it to final consumers.

Minister argued that the city council does not have the mandate to decide and increase the price of water on its own without consultation with the ministry of water resources and the Urban Water Corporation.

“As the ministry of Water Resources and South Sudan Urban Water Corporation have not increased the water production cost of SSP 100 per drum of water despite skyrocketing prices of commodities in the market, I therefore write to you (the acting CES governor) to order the acting mayor to revoke his order of water price increment as soon as possible,” the minister ordered.

Central Equatoria State deputy Governor, Sarah Nene, upon receipt of the minister’s order, wrote a letter, directing the acting Juba City Mayor to revoke his local order and revert to the previous prices of SSP 1,000 and SSP 800 for longer and shorter distances respectively.



Comments are closed.