Shops Demolition dismay Chamber of Commence

The shop demolished in Hai Thoura area, Juba South Sudan. / photo by Chuol Jany

The chamber of commerce for the Central Equatoria state is unhappy with shops demolition and pledge to negotiate with the government to support affected traders.

The department reported over seventy shops demolished in Hai Thaura and Customs markets during Juba City (JCC) exercises. The City Council launched a weekly demolition exercise to shops it said encroached into the roads, but traders were concerned about not being notified ahead of time.

Businesspeople said they have encounter losses which the JCC reveals un readiness to pay the compensation.

Robert Pitia Francis, the Chairperson chamber of commerce, industry, and agriculture central Equatoria, described the City Council exercise as “unfair” and called the mayor to allocate places to the affected traders. He said the recent demolition had frustrated several small-scale businessmen and women operating in the national capital.

Pitia claimed that government did not listen to the view of traders whom he said are partners with authority and supported the state through paying taxes

“The government should organize a place for them to operate to provide for themselves and their families. When they raise the money, they will come to the level of small business to have the capital to rent a shop,” Pitia stated.

The chairperson of the Juba City council at the Chamber, Stephen Wani, said it is impossible to destroyed shops and left the space empty while the citizen without business to support their families.

“If the government plans to demolish, they would have created a committee to notify the trader. You cannot demolish someone and left in the sun. This person created self-employment for themselves to help them sustain their life,”Wani said.

The chamber of Commerce in Central Equatoria state has called the traders to remain calm as the case is being followed up with authority.

Mayor of Juba City, Kalisto Ladu, said he is implementing the bylaw that prohibited anyone builds on the public space government allocated for packing or roads.  They stated that people on their private land would not be affected as the plan is to keep the city clean.

On September 18th, a journalist who works at this media institution was briefly detained by the mayor’s office while covering a demolition exercise in Hai Thoura. The Juba City Council claimed the reporter didn’t seek permission, but he was released without charge six hours later.

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