Return to lockdown Level 5 – EFF

Fighters say no amount of social distancing, wearing masks, sanitization will help reduce rise in infections and death

EFF calls on a return to lockdown Level 5 amidst rising Covid-19 infections sand fatalities

30 June 2020

The EFF calls on Ramaphosa's government to return the country to Level 5 lockdown for three months. Over the past seven days alone, the country has reported over 40 000 cases, with a daily average of 6000. No amount of social distancing, wearing masks, sanitization will help reduce the rise in infections and death. The only strategy that will help us is "staying at home".

The fact is that as things stand, both the private and public healthcare systems will not be able to cater to the rising numbers of positive COVID-19 cases. As a result, thousands of people will die simply because they cannot get access to healthcare. In the next few weeks majority of companies, schools and other public spaces will be unable to operate as workers and customers will be infected. Before this happens, the responsible and constitutionally imperative thing to do is prevent the loss of lives.

Our democratic government has the responsibility to act in the interest of the paramount right to life. No other right comes above the right to life. If we cannot live, we cannot enjoy any other basic human right.

In order to sustain Level 5 lockdown for three months, the following must be done:

1. The country must unite in a planned supply of food, electricity, water and sanitation for all.

2. Food prices must be controlled through regulations
3. All financial institutions must be forced through regulations to give interest-free payment holidays for three months for all non-essential workers and businesses.

4. All basic and higher education learning and teaching must be conducted online and through the public broadcaster.

5. Internet and broadcasting service prices must be regulated and reduced

6. There must be immediate infrastructural renovation and expansion of all provincial hospitals like Baragwanath

7. There must be satellite quarantine centres in all informal settlements

8. Finally, all essential workers, in water, sanitation, security, energy, transport, food and agriculture must be given free medical healthcare coverage for Covid-19.

If we do not lockdown now, there will be hundreds of thousands of lives lost, the majority of which will be poor black people. Worse, there will be no experienced workforce to speak of when the scourge of Covid-19 passes. The refusal to lockdown the country under Level 5 regulations must, therefore, be read as complicity with the mass murder of our people. No one should die of Covid-19 because they wanted to go to school. No one should die of Covid-19 because they wanted to go to work and put food on the table. No one should die of Covid-19 because they were forced by bank loan obligation to save their homes, cars, or businesses.

We repeat our call for Ramaphosa to return the country to Level 5 Lockdown to save lives.

It is time to employ the stay at home strategy to fight Covid-19.

The refusal to tighten regulations and ban alcohol squarely places liability of all deaths on Cyril Ramaphosa. It is evident now that in the protection of the white capitalist establishment, Ramaphosa has no regard for the lives of our people. All of society must be mobilized to guarantee livelihoods without compromising lives of our people, and it is evident now that the premature and reckless reopening of the economy and many sectors of society will end in many avoidable deaths.

Issued by Vuyani Pambo, National Spokesperson, EFF, 30 June 2020