South Africa: Cosatu Statement On President Cyril Ramaphosa Announcement of a Four-Week School Break

press release

COSATU has noted President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement of a four-week break in response to the spike in Covid-19 infections. We welcome this move because it is line with our affiliated union SADTU's call for the government to reconsider the decision to reopen schools. We are happy that the government was quick to respond to the concerns of stakeholders.

We are troubled though that government has allowed the private schools to make their own determination and decide on their own whether to close or not. Our education system already reproduces inequalities based on class and race and this decision will only perpetuate them.

We endorse the President's tough stance on corruption, but we await the execution of this pledge. Thieves and looters should be arrested and sent to prison without delay. The Federation calls on government to explore the possibility of special courts to deal with Covi-19 related crimes, like the ones that were used during the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

We have noted the President's continued evasion of the thorny issue of the public transport system. This remains the nation's Achilles heel in the fight against the spread of Coronavirus. This must be resolved fast if we are to avoid another extreme lockdown and shutdown of the economy.

We welcome the progress report on the rolling out of the relief package, but we still believe that more money needs to be injected into the economy to avoid the worst-case scenario of an economic depression.

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