South Africa: Cosatu Statement On President Ramaphosa and His Administration's Latest Measures to Combat the Covid-19 Pandemic

press release

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) notes President Ramaphosa's decision to extend Alert Level 4 Lockdown restrictions to try and combat the increasing tide of COVID -19 infections.

The Federation welcomes government's acknowledgment and endorsement of our demand that the Unemployment Insurance Fund's Covid-19 TERS Fund be resuscitated to provide much needed relief for vulnerable workers, who cannot go back to work because of the current restrictions.

The processing of this relief needs to be expedited because workers are struggling to feed their families. We note and welcome the lessening of restrictions for restaurants and hope that all restaurants' managers will comply with the set conditions and protocols. This will provide the much-needed relief for thousands of workers and businesses that are currently struggling to survive under these difficult circumstances.

We are disappointed though that government has not extended the R350 Covid-19 grant for the long term unemployed, tax relief for restricted sectors and relief for those falling outside of the UIF's scope like musicians and other the self-employed workers.

The recent increase in the daily vaccination rate is a positive development that is saluted. All vaccine sites need to be properly equipped and vaccination should be extended to the weekends as a matter of urgency. This is the only way society, and the economy can survive and reemerge without much harm from this crisis.

COSATU supports the call by the President for the rule of law to be respected by all. The Federation has been taken aback by the lack of proper enforcement of the disaster management regulations by government in general. This undermines the efforts and the heroic sacrifices of our health workers who are working hard to save lives.

The recent behaviour by some individuals to not only defy the disaster management regulations but to equally engage in wanton looting, vandalism, and violence needs to be condemned by all properly adjusted people.

The rule of law must be applied to all without fear or favour. The burning of trucks and valuable infrastructure puts not only workers' jobs at risk but puts the lives of all South Africans in jeopardy.

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