South Sudan suspends construction of major highway over quality

Wednesday June 10 2020

South Sudanese walk through a dusty street in Juba on July 6, 2011. South Sudan has suspended the construction of Juba-Rumbek highway over quality. FILE PHOTO | NMG

By Garang Malak

The South Sudanese government and a Chinese contractor have suspended the construction of a major highway connecting to Uganda over quality.

The construction of Juba-Rumbek highway has been put on hold after a heavy downpour last month swept away some sections of the road, according to Taban Deng, the vice president in charge of Infrastructure.

“The suspension does not mean the construction has stopped, but is to review the design of the road. So I call on the company to build their capacity within the suspension period to ensure quality standard of the road,” Taban told journalists during a media site visit on Tuesday.

The 392km project that connects Bahr El Ghazal Region to Uganda through Equatoria region is being constructed by Shandong Hi-Speed Group Corporation over a three-year period.

Last week, President Salva Kiir fired the Presidential Affairs Minister, Mayiik Ayii, over what he described as poor supervision of the project.

Hua Ning, the Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan, said that the company will make necessary changes to improve the quality of the highway.


“China is going to make sure that this road [Juba-Rumbek] is reviewed and constructed well,” said Hua.

Meanwhile, Simon Mijok Mijak, South Sudan’s Minister of Road and Bridges, said the previous design did not take into consideration the drainage system and other factors.

Mijak revealed that a seven-member technical committee had been formed to investigate the matter.

“The committee comprises of seven members and they will deliver their report to the Ministry within 21 days,” said Mijak.