Freedom Front Plus Leader Pieter Groenewald. Pictures: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency(ANA)
Freedom Front Plus Leader Pieter Groenewald. Pictures: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency(ANA)

Coronavirus in SA: FF+ backs national lockdown

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Mar 24, 2020

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Johannesburg - The Freedom Front Plus says President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement of a national lockdown was a drastic step but the Covid-19 virus necessitates drastic steps to prevent the catastrophic spread of the disease.

In a statement party leader Pieter Groenewald said the national defence force's involvement meant that the country basically found itself in a national state of emergency. 

"These drastic steps are particularly necessary due to the high incidence of HIV/Aids and tuberculosis in South Africa as such individuals' immune systems are already suppressed," Groenewald said. 

He also said his party supported the steps taken as it was the most effective way to prevent the loss of lives in other countries.

"The party is, thus, appealing to all South Africans to cooperate in order to limit the spread of the virus at all costs."

However, Groenewald said his party was concerned by Ramaphosa's admission that the country's healthcare services will not be able to handle an extensive outbreak of the virus and that it will result in an absolute crisis.

 He added the national lockdown would have serious consequences for the economy and would result in job losses.

"But it could be much worse and may be extended to three months if people do not adhere strictly to the regulations."

Groenewald urged  the government to urgently intervene at municipalities that were experiencing water shortages so as to ensure that those communities have access to adequate water supply, which is vital for good hygiene.

He also  welcomed the establishment of a Solidarity Fund as well as the other initiatives to support those who may lose their jobs. 

"The FF Plus will keep a close eye on the situation to ensure that the government does everything in its power to support the people of South Africa during this time of crisis."

Political Bureau

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak visit IOL's #Coronavirus trend page.

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999

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