'Unite to fight this pandemic': Outa and Cope on Covid-19 lockdown

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a nationwide lockdown.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a nationwide lockdown.
Image: Supplied

Civil rights group the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) and the Congress of the People (Cope) have welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of a national lockdown. 

On Monday night, Ramaphosa said a lockdown was necessary to contain the spread of Covid-19. 

South Africans would have to “stay at home” from midnight on Thursday until April 16.

“We have seen over the past few days how this coronavirus spreads rapidly. When President Ramaphosa declared a state of disaster [on March 15], the number of infections was sitting at 61. Today, we are at 402 infections,” said Cope’s Dennis Bloem.

He said the lockdown was in the best interest of the people as it could save thousands of lives.

“We are encouraged by the thorough presentation of the president, covering almost all aspects and concerns, [and assuring] the nation that everything will be taken care of.

“We are pleased with the creation of a solidarity fund to assist the people in this difficult time. We know that our country is facing serious economic challenges, with high levels of poverty and thousands of people unemployed. We believe this solidarity fund will come in handy to assist with the huge burden that will come with the lockdown,” said Bloem.

The party also commended the Rupert and Oppenheimer families for each donating R1bn to the fund.

“We urge all South Africans who can afford to contribute to the solidarity fund to do so. The fight against this vicious enemy demands of all of us to contribute, no matter how little.

“Now is the time for all of us to put our differences aside and work together as a united force to defeat this coronavirus,” Bloem said.

Outa said the country should unite and support the drastic measures required to curb the pandemic.

“The extent and speed of the measures we take today will ease our pain tomorrow,” said Wayne Duvenage, Outa's CEO.

“We welcome the measures taken to protect the poor and vulnerable, and those whose livelihoods are at risk, through the various stimulus initiatives and measures taken by the government to protect the economy and business fallout.”

The organisation urged South Africans to support those they could and, if possible, contribute to the fund.


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