|Fellow South African,
Whilst we are on the edge of a full-blown national crisis that could be devastating for society and the economy, South Africa is a resilient nation. We can get through the coronavirus pandemic if we work together to contain the virus early, and assist with health and economic interventions.
It is important that we all communicate responsibly by making calm but deliberate decisions so that we can prevent the wide-scale spread we’ve seen in other countries. Let’s break the chain of infection and remember that while the disease may not be fatal to you or me, it could be fatal to someone we come into contact with.
So, to start with, please don’t fuel panic by unnecessarily stocking up on large quantities of food, and please adapt your working conditions.
Our party is leading by example by postponing conferences, campaign events and political meetings. We have sent non-essential staff home, done a thorough clean of our workspaces, and ensured that staff who must come to the office do not sit close to one another. I ask that you try and make changes like these to your working conditions too.
In addition to encouraging every sector to adapt their working conditions to contain the spread of the coronavirus, I also call on:
- Telecommunication companies, like MTN or Vodacom, to consider making cheaper data packages available, this will help students who have been sent home in particular.
- Private medical aids to make COVID-19 testing freely available on all plans, without unnecessary conditions, in order to fast-track detection and quarantine.
- Banks and lenders to consider a four-month postponement (forbearance) of loan and rental payments for businesses, as well as a pause on VAT, UIF and Workers’ Compensation Fund payments.
In collaboration with all spheres of government, the DA is working hard to take supplementary measures to protect South Africa from this national emergency – including health or economic interventions. You can read more about our proposals at this link.
We can defeat COVID-19 if we remain calm and work together. Let’s all pitch in and put our country first.