Move One in South Sudan
South Sudan – Why is it so expensive?🇸🇸
Checkpoint ‘taxes’ make South Sudan one of the most expensive places to move goods (not to speak of the road network).
Since independence in 2011, the number of checkpoints has nearly doubled and checkpoint taxes have increased by 300%. These “transit taxes”, as they are called locally are mostly illegal and affect all trade including Aid. In the absence of a functioning tax collection system and with a central government not distributing budget amounts to the provinces these checkpoint revenues are the main source of funding for the military and local governments.
Prior to 2011, the average soldier earned about $200. Today, that amount is only worth about $3. During a deployment, the first thing the military will do is to establish a checkpoint to provide funding. However, a big part of the checkpoint funds is channeled upwards in very opaque ways.
A typical truck journey between Juba and Bentiu (app. 1000 km) on average passes 80 checkpoints and at about $21 “tax” per this easily increases trucking costs by $3000. Barge traffic can be hit even harder with fees upwards of $10,000.
This makes trucking in South Sudan one of the most expensive in the world rivaled only by Afghanistan and the Democratic Congo.
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