South Africa

EFF bemoans 100% taxi capacity regulation and calls for a return to level 5

The party said the decision to allow taxi operators to operate at full capacity would lead to a rise in coronavirus cases.

The criticism comes a day after President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation where he said the country would remain on level 3 of the risk-adjusted lockdown.

He also announced more stringent measures which he said would help ease pressure on the healthcare system. The sale of alcohol has been banned yet again to reduce alcohol-related trauma cases at the country's hospitals.

A curfew has also been reintroduced from 9pm and 4am daily. Only those with permits will be allowed to travel outside their homes between those hours. Ramaphosa said these measures were needed as cases continued to rise.

Taxi operators would be allowed to operate at full capacity for short-distance travel and 70% for long-distance. This decision has raised concerns.

The EFF said this decision was ill-advised.

The party has also called for Ramaphosa to announce the closure of schools. The party's leader Julius Malema tweeted a plea to the president on Sunday night calling for schools to be closed.

The EFF also characterised Ramaphosa's address as an attempt to blame the surge in cases on citizens instead of taking accountability for the government supposed failure.

The party has yet again called for the country to return to level 5 and has criticised the further reopening of the economy.

"The decision to persist in keeping schools open is an unethical and cruel social experiment that makes children guinea pigs who will carry this deadly virus into their homes and put their loved ones at risk.

"Ramaphosa's pathetic attempts of blaming South Africans for a situation he has control over as the leader of this country must be rejected. We reiterate our call for a return to level 5 of the national lockdown as the most sensible way forward to protect lives and curb the spread of the coronavirus," the party said on Monday.

The government's strategy has also been rejected by the DA.

The party also said the government was blaming citizens for its failures.

DA leader John Steenhuisen said what the country needed was to build a treatment plan and not focus on curfews and banning alcohol.

"The argument that alcohol trauma is putting the system under pressure is simply an excuse and coverup for this failure. Alcohol is the scapegoat, not the reason. A curfew gives an illusion of control when quite clearly the government has no control over the real issue, which is treatment and testing capacity. These are false narratives that should not divert us from what we need to do.

"The DA rejects the ban on family visits. It fundamentally undermines the right to dignity and goes to the heart of what makes us human. How can it be legal to visit a casino or a church service with 49 other people, but illegal to see one's, own family?" Steenhuisen said. 

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