Covid-19: EFF calls on banks to excuse defaulters
Johannesburg - The EFF wants the government to implement a moratorium on bank repossessions in the wake of the deadly coronavirus.
In a letter at the weekend, the party's leader Julius Malema said the move, if approved by President Cyril Ramaphosa, will assist many private individuals and small businesses who have lost their income due to the lockdown.
Malema's call coincides with a recent announcement by the National Credit Regulator (NCR) to consumers to make use of their credit life insurance, which can provide some relief for those who are unable to earn an income during the lockdown.
Credit life insurance is an insurance that a consumer signs up for when applying for a credit or a loan and it covers the outstanding debt in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as death, retrenchment, unemployment, inability to earn an income, disability and others.
The major banks in the country have yet to react to the NCR, while Capitec Bank has already indicated it would consider using the credit life insurance if some of its clients had lost 60% or more of their individual income.
In his letter, Malema has also pleaded with Ramaphosa to offer financial aid to street vendors who do not qualify for assistance from any of the major banks and other institutions
He also warned Ramaphosa to guard against government officials and politicians who, he claims, are likely to abuse procurement regulations for their own selfish needs.
“We write to you to advise that you should strictly enforce all procurement laws and regulations on how public funds are utilised in the procurement of necessary essentials needed to insulate our people from the virus and the vulnerable from starvation.
“Our advice is informed by the reality that governments in different spheres are engaging in immoral, unethical and unlawful procurement processes that will significantly compromise the fight against Covid-19,” Malema said.
He claimed the latest controversy of the alleged involvement of the Gauteng e-Government Department in the illegal procurement of an information technology services contract was one of their concerns about possible abuse of the system.
“Currently, all spheres of government and all entities are engaged in the procurement of Personal Protective Clothing (PPE) and sanitisers and there seem to be no pricing guideline which will protect state resources from abuse by middlemen and corrupt government officials," he said.
He added: “We write to advise that the government should publicise procurement regulations and establish a focused Task Force and call centre where members of the public should report violations of the regulations. We do so because in the fight against Covid-19, the executive sphere of government should be overseen by elected representatives and members of the public.”
The party also wants Ramaphosa to act against politicians who allegedly used the coronavirus crisis to improve their own images and their respective political parties.
Malema recently lodged a scathing attack against Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Ntsweni-Tsipane following the circulation of several sanitisers in her province bearing her image. The party also claimed senior political party leaders were wearing party regalia during the government campaigns to fight the pandemic.
“The act of using government resources and now resources donated by the public to promote political parties is undemocratic, unethical and unconstitutional.
“The state should come out clear in forbidding partisan political activities that rely on state and public resources. Such an act amounts to abuse of state resources and must be discontinued,” Malema said .
The party also wants the government to consider building in-house manufacturing companies to produce PPEs internally in the future.
Presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko did not respond to a request to react to the EFF's letter.
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