The EFF has called on government to impose an interest-free payment holiday for three months for South Africans who cannot afford to make the payments due to the nationwide lockdown.
The red berets said though they welcomed the extension of the lockdown by an additional 14 days announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday evening, “we are not convinced that government has taken adequate measures to mitigate against the economic and subsistence consequences on ordinary people”.
“The president and the Covid-19 Command Council are tiptoeing 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, businesses and houses.
“This points to the reality that the financial services sector, particularly banks, have disproportionate political control of the elected government.”
Meanwhile, the DA has said the extension of the lockdown will create an economic disaster.
The party said it would prefer that the current lockdown would be gradually phased out “over the coming weeks as opposed to a continuation of the severe and economically crippling regulations we currently see”.
“Our great concern is that President [Cyril] Ramaphosa has justified this extension as if we face a binary choice between health concerns and economic concerns.
“We believe it is a great mistake to think in terms of lives versus livelihoods. This is a false dilemma. Rather, the difficult trade-offs to be made are between lives lost or damaged by Covid-19, and lives lost or damaged by the drastic measures to contain its spread.”
(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)