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AWEIL - 17 Jan 2013

Decree targets government drunks in Aweil

A government decree in Northern Bahr al-Ghazal state has limited the opening hours of bars in an effort to crack down on alcoholism at the workplace.

Last year the state government issued a decree cutting the opening hours of bars and restaurants from 5:00 p.m. until 11 p.m. Backlash from bar owners focuses on the dual impact of the measure combined with recent tax levies.

One of the bar managers explained on Friday that the establishments are ordered to remain closed during the morning hours because government employees spend too much time in bars and are not going to the offices.

“This policy has a negative impact on us as businees persons because we have no customers at the evening because everyone at that time is relaxing at the house. This has made our business collapse,” said the barman.

“The government has chosen this option as the main way of reducing the escaping from work but the same government comes to us and asks for the tax which we sometimes failed to get due to lack of customers,” he complained.

He pointed out that his business also needs to pay its workers and its rent to the landlord. “All these things are challenges to the bar business sector. We need the government to at least allow us to work from morning 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. because such hours are busy for the government officials.

“Government officials in South Sudan leave the offices during the lunch hours. They always go to the offices early and go back to the houses before the official time,” he said.

File photo: Aweil town, South Sudan.