Economic Freedom Fighters an opposition party in South Africa has welcomed the extension of the lockdown that was imposed in that country to stop the spread of coronavirus.
We present below the party’s statement in full.
ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS STATEMENT ON THE ADDITIONAL 14 DAYS EXTENSION OF THE LOCKDOWN
Thursday. 09 April 2020
The Economic Freedom Fighters welcomes the extension of the Lockdown by an additional 14 days as a measure to contain and subsequently eliminate the spread of COVID-19. We .11 on all the people of South Africa to abide by all the Lockdown regulations until the rapid spread of the virus has been contained and risk of further infections eliminated. We believe that it should only be a scientific and data-based analysis of the spread that should lead to the suspension of the Lockdown.
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Whilst we welcome the extension of the lockdown, we are not convinced that the Government has taken adequate measures to mitigate against the economic and subsistence consequences on ordinary people. We call on Government to impose an interest-free payment holiday for three months for all people who cannot afford to make the monthly payments due to the lockdown. The President and COVID-19 Command Council are tip-toeing around the financial services sector and are afraid to provide decisive and clear direction that will insulate our people from the economic jeopardy of further exclusion and repossession of their vehicles, business and houses. This points to the reality that the financial services sector, particularly banks have disproportionate political control of the elected government.
We call on Government to immediately place a moratorium on all forms of repossessions by banks and all creditors. We call for a complete end to evictions from properties and land occupied for residential purposes. We call for a moratorium of lease cancellations of small and medium businesses that had lease agreements with property companies. particularly Malls. We call for a humane system that does not inject further suffering on the lives of the people. We .11 on all local authorities to immediately stop politicizing the distribution of basic services to our communities. No government official or public representative should be allowed to distribute food parcels, personal protective equipments and all other essentials in political party regalia because the war against COVID-19 should not be turned into partisan political football.
We welcome the decision of the Executive and all Premiers of contributing a third of their salaries to the Solidarity Fund which will finance the war against COVID-19. We .11 on all public representatives in all spheres of Govemment and all employed people with adequate disposal income to do the same so that we assemble enough resources to fight the rapid spread whilst still safeguarding South Africa’s fiscal sovereignty. The crisis of COVID-19 should never lead to the South African government asking for loans from rapacious international institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, whose loans will come with irrational and often dangerous conditionalities.
As part of our contribution to the fight against COVID-19, all EFF Public Representatives, inclusive of Members of Parliament, Members of Provincial Legislatures, and Councillors will contribute a third of our monthly salaries to the COVID-19 Solidarity Fund. In this regard, the mandatory party levy deducted from our Public Representatives will not be deducted in the period where we will be contributing a third of our salaries to the Solidarity Fund. Our public representatives will continue to closely monitor all spheres of govemment against all forms of corruption and violation of procurement laws and regulations.
The COVID-19 Command Council should scientifically and empirically look into whether voluntary isolation of infected patients is not responsible for the continued spread of the virus even after Lockdown. We are in this war together and should unite all the people of South Afri. in the fight against the rapid spread of COVID-19. The only way we will defeat this pandemic is when we set aside petty political differences and unite behind a common cause.
ISSUED BY THE ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS Vuyani Pambo (National Spokesperson): 061 427 8743 Delisile Ngwenya (National Spokesperson): 066 388 8779 Nompumelelo Simango (National Communications Officer)