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Develop work skills, be self-reliant-Minister

By Bida Elly David


Minister of Labor, James Hot Mai has urged citizens develop work skills and avoid overdependence on jobs in the private sector and international organizations.

During a report presentation by a high-level government delegation that attended the International Labor Convention in Geneva last year, Minister Mai emphasized the need for individuals to focus on building their work skills.

“This Country cannot depend on the NGOs for us to work, we cannot depend on companies or hotels,’’ he said.

He urged South Sudanese to prioritize capacity building, gain experience, and develop skills that would enable them to work independently rather than relying on foreign projects.

Minister Mai pointed out that approximately 2,000 to 3,000 South Sudanese are currently employed in the hotel industry.

He encouraged individuals to explore other income-generating businesses, stating that the government has established seven vocational training centres across the country that provide free training to nationals.

“We have seven vocational training centers training people with the help of our partners, you go to Torit you will find Yoghurt women do, we even have Muraba in Lologo so why do we depend on NGOs,’’ he said.

He advised citizens to register for training and acquire the necessary skills to engage in viable economic activities until the country stabilizes and attracts more investors.

Minister Mai also highlighted the government’s efforts to enact laws and develop a workers’ protection policy, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing security to attract foreign investors and create employment opportunities for citizens.

However, Victor Omuho, a lawmaker representing Torit County, criticized the minister’s statement, asserting that he does not represent the country.

Omuho argued that South Sudanese are capable of working in any sector and questioned why citizens should not depend on the private sector when the government itself struggles to pay civil servants on time.

“We as a government has got the right to take care of our worker, our workers in South Sudan have no profession but have skills,’’ he said.

He further emphasized that the majority of workers in South Sudan, whether in the public or private sectors or NGOs, lack adequate protection.

Munira Abdel Wahab, another lawmaker, agreed with Minister Mai regarding the overdependence of South Sudanese on jobs in the private and NGO sectors.

Munira described some South Sudanese workers in the private sector as unreliable, citing issues of tardiness and lack of commitment.

“South Sudanese once given jobs don’t do the job properly, let us say the truth, they are not performing that is why everyone coming from outside take that job whether you are a company or Originations,’’ she said.

She highlighted the need for workers to be punctual and suggested the development of laws to protect employees and promote productivity.



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