Civic organisations, political parties and business leaders have welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS
Civic organisations, political parties and business leaders have welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

Praise for President Ramaphosa's 'decisive action' to curb the spread of Covid-19

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Mar 25, 2020

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Cape Town - With the nation bracing itself to go into full lockdown, civic organisations, political parties and business leaders have welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry Geoff Jacobs said the president has taken “firm and decisive action”.

“Details around support for businesses and revitalisation programmes are vague. We would have preferred to see specific details about payment holidays and deferring of bonds, rates and lease payments. It is our view that our financial service institutions and local government should have been more specific and more intentional about the steps they will be taking to soften the blow on the economy.”

Chairperson of the Western Cape Property Development Forum Deon van Zyl said: “We call on the president to consider the impact the Covid-19 virus is having on the civil and building construction sectors, particularly when he addresses the Treasury and banking fraternity, which provide development funding for public and private sector projects.

“It is critical that private and public sector developers are given the financial latitude to be able to support contractors and subcontractors to survive these difficult times.”

Land Party president Gcobani Ndzongana said: “We are concerned that spaza shops that many communities rely on to buy their groceries are not included in the list of essential businesses and services.”

Ramaphosa stressed that people would still be able to leave their homes to seek medical care, buy food or collect a social grant. However, shops and businesses were to close, with the exception of pharmacies, laboratories, banks, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, supermarkets, petrol stations and health-care providers.

Activist Mazibuko Jara said: “We must all take action where we are. Civic structures must be engaged, supported and given representation on the National Command Council. “The distribution of reliable information, essential services and care for our people will require a massive, co-ordinated effort from community leaders and structures. Volunteers must be trained and organised for safe, co-ordinated, campaigns. Middle-class and wealthy communities and organisations have an obligation to make resources available to the poor.”

The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation said: “It is time to maximise our efforts to prevent Covid-19 from rampaging through our poorer communities, many of which are overcrowded and without decent sanitation.

“Our people don’t have the money to stockpile food or buy face masks and sanitizers. It is time for each and every one of us to take personal responsibility for not spreading the virus, while taking special care to minimise the risk to the most vulnerable among us, including our elders.”

@MarvinCharles17

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Cape Argus

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