Plato to Ramaphosa: Revise essential items and scrap BEE only financial aid
Port Elizabeth - While welcoming South African President Cyril Ramaphosa's extension of the national lockdown by 14 days to ensure the spread of Covid-19 is curbed, Cape Town mayor Dan Plato has appealed for a review of essential items to make life easier for citizens during lockdown.
"The City of Cape Town takes note of the 14-day lockdown extension announced by President Ramaphosa this evening and we will ensure that all necessary measures are in place so that we can continue providing services during this unprecedented time," Plato said.
"We know that our residents will heed the president’s call and continue to stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
"As this lockdown is a big ask and comes with serious implications for everyone in our society, there are two requests I want to make to the president," Plato said.
The mayor says the list as it stands is "too prohibitive", and could include, among others, stationery for children's school work and hardware supplies to allow people to fix their homes during this period.
"We know our residents can abide by the president’s call, but we need to acknowledge that this list needs some urgent revision to help everyone get through the next three weeks."
Plato also said that financial relief should not be restricted to BEE-registered businesses
"We do not yet know the extent of the impact that this lockdown will have on our economy, but we do know that the impact will be severe. I am sure the national government are factoring this in just as much as they are focusing on limiting the spread of the coronavirus.
"I want to call on our residents to please continue to be diligent, to stay home, only go out for the essentials, and together we will get through this."
Plato also took the opportunity on Friday morning to wish all Christians well as they marked "one of the holiest days on their spiritual calendar".
"Easter long weekend usually brings people together to celebrate this holy period. Indeed, it will be celebrated differently this year and I would like to encourage all to continue to take extra care," he said.
"Connect over Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom, or any of the many video conferencing apps available, and find a new way to enjoy your traditional Easter lunch. It is crucial that we continue to stay at home to safeguard ourselves and our loved ones.
"Let us find comfort in the fact that our roads will be far quieter, meaning a safer Easter long weekend for all," Plato said.
African News Agency/ANA