National, News

Cabinet approves NGO Act amendment Bill

By Philip Buda Ladu


Council of Ministers on Friday adopted and passed an amendment bill seeking to adjust the Non-governmental Organization (NGO) Act 2016 to conform to the revitalized agreement.

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ruben Madol Arol presented the NGO Act 2016 Amendment Bill 2023 to the cabinet in their regular meeting No. 9/2024, chaired by President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

The national deputy minister of information, Jacob Maiju Korok, explained that the purpose of the bill is to amend the NGO Act 2016 to confirm the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

He added that the bill would also create an enabling legal environment for non-governmental organizations in South Sudan, as stipulated in the agreement and constitution.

“The amendment requires the NGOs to promote the hiring of at least 35% women employees in all managerial, middle, and junior levels,” he highlighted as one of the key amendments to the act.

Korok further emphasized an interpretation of the Act’s clause stating that 80% of employment is for the state.

“Actually, 80% doesn’t mean a particular state that would recruit 80% of employees in an NGO, but it is actually specifically for South Sudanese nationals regardless of their ethnic groups or state,” he told journalists.

The deputy minister noted that after deliberation, the bill was passed with amendments and will be tabled before the Transitional National Legislative Assembly for ratification.

Last month, lawmakers at the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) urged the Ministry of Labor to take action against foreigners who are working in South Sudan without proper work permits.

MPs were bitter about reports of illegal entry by foreigners who are taking away job opportunities from nationals during the recruitment process in NGOs.

Felix Edward, a lawmaker representing Western Equatoria State at the R-TNLA, alleged that most companies and international organizations in the country employ a majority of foreigners compared to locals, and those foreigners work here without permits.

Another MP, Mayen Deng Abier, representing Jonglei State, expressed worries over foreigners’ dominance in all sectors of the country’s economy.

He slammed the Ministry of Labor for claiming to be implementing the employment policy of 80% of South Sudanese in the private sector and the NGO world.

“Foreigners in South Sudan are in reality given 80% more employment than the nationals,” he claimed.

Responding to the MPs’ submissions during the assembly’s question session last month, the minister of labour, James Hoth Mai, acknowledged and accepted the fact that most foreigners get illegal employment without permits.

In 2023, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management also called for the amendment of the South Sudan NGO Act.

This demand was in a quest to clearly define the roles of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and that of the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) regarding the humanitarian agency act.





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