Pretoria - The ANC in Mpumalanga has joined the chorus of politicians who have raised their voices against the idea of today’s EFF-led national shutdown.
Thousands of marchers are expected to take to the streets this morning, calling for the end of load shedding and for President Cyril Ramaphosa to step down.
The protests were planned despite criticisms from some sections of society, including the governing party and government leaders.
ANC Mpumalanga secretary Muzi Chirwa said the provincial executive working committee convened a special meeting to deliberate on the implications of the shutdown.
“The ANC in Mpumalanga views this shutdown as a counter-revolutionary act in that it seeks to undermine all the progressive efforts of the legitimately elected ANC government to improve the lives of all South Africans.
“We consider it counter-revolutionary because it doesn’t conform to the prescripts of the Constitution, which allow everyone to protest, but seeks to disrupt lives on the day to an extent that they are intimidating shop owners and universities to close down on the day.
“The Constitution allows all South Africans to protest, but does not permit organisers of protests to intimidate other citizens to join them even if they do not believe in their unscientific demands,” said Chirwa yesterday.
The working committee called on South Africans who are already in the streets to go back home and avoid anarchy.
“We would like to discourage all justice-loving South Africans from participating in the anarchy. All social partners are engaged in a programme to reconstruct the South African economy and restore normality to life after it was ravaged by Covid-19, the July 2021 unrest and floods in different parts of the country.
“A shutdown will not resolve any of the socio-economic problems the country is facing, nor will it provide the base-load to end load shedding, but will instead deepen the crisis. We request South Africans to use this day to continue making a positive impact in resolving the pressing socio-economic challenges confronting our country,” he said.
Chirwa said society should instead support all steps the ANC-led government has taken in resolving pertinent issues.
“We instead call on all South Africans to partner with the legitimate government of the day and support the bold and practical steps the ANC-led government is taking to deal with the challenge of load shedding, mobilising all social partners towards the economic recovery, and in fighting crime and corruption.
“Our take is that the ANC is responding very well to the challenges facing the country following the State of the Nation Address by President Ramaphosa and the State of the Province Address by the Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane, and part of the evidence of this is that we just received news that almost six of our power stations have improved their energy availability factor to above 70%,” Chirwa said.
The EFF has not been deterred by the criticisms against the shutdown.
In fact, EFF leader Julius Malema condemned shutdown supporters who displayed information on social media, saying they were publicly disclosing a business plan meant to be secret.
Today all eyes are on whether the protests across the country will continue to be peaceful or not.