In the wake of numerous high-profile South Africans taking to social media to pledge donations and show their support for the needy during the crisis occasioned by the Covid-19 lockdown, EFF leader Julius Malema has cautioned against using this as a way to “gain or seek popularity”.
“This is not the time for social media videos and pictures of showing off charity; the needy have dignity too!” he tweeted.
Let no one amongst us gain or seek popularity out of giving to the needy. This is not the time for social media videos and pictures of showing off charity; the needy have dignity too!
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) April 10, 2020
The party also repeated the same sentiment in an official statement wishing South Africans for Easter, while cautioning them to remain in their homes.
They said the principle of doing charity without wanting recognition was a strong part of the Christian tradition, and they quoted scripture, Matthew 6:3.
They added that they were hopeful that a better world would arise from the ashes of the Covid-19 crisis.
EFF Statement on Good Friday pic.twitter.com/wXNKapTYol
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) April 10, 2020
The EFF has announced that all its public representatives, inclusive of MPs, MPLs and councillors will contribute a third of their monthly salaries towards the Covid-19 Solidarity Fund.
This came after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday evening that he, the deputy president, ministers, deputy ministers and premiers would take a one-third pay cut over the next three months as a donation to the Solidarity Fund.
This inspired numerous other South Africans, including celebrities, to follow suit with pledges of their own.
The EFF also said in a statement: “We welcome the decision of the executive and the premiers of contributing a third of their salaries to the Solidarity Fund which will finance the war against Covid-19. We call on all public representatives in all spheres of government and all employed people with adequate disposable income to do the same so that we assemble enough resources to fight the rapid spread while still safeguarding South Africa’s fiscal sovereignty.”
The party 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 that although they welcomed the extension of the lockdown by an additional 14 days, “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.”