The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has proposed a range of measures to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a statement on Monday, the party said banks must initiate a payment holiday on home loans; vehicle finance loans; credit card and overdraft repayments; and personal, student and business loans for a minimum of four months.
It added, “Government must pay all workers who earn below R15,000 a once-off grant of R3,500 for food and hygiene essentials.”
‘Free 200MB daily data’
The EFF also called on the government to “prohibit” all evictions, be they from occupied land or tenant residence, and to suspend all rental payments. Property owners should receive a subsidy in return, it said.
The party added, “All service providers such as MultiChoice, Vodacom, MTN, Telkom, Cell C and others should suspend debit orders and service fees for 4 months.
“All municipalities should extend the period of payment of property rates, water and electricity by 30 additional working days, and no municipality or Eskom should be allowed to disconnect services.
“Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom and all other network service providers should give all customers (RICA SIM card) a daily free 200MB, 15 free talk minutes network to network and 15 minutes for all other networks.”
The party also said the government must publish price guidelines for basic products such as maize meal, bread, milk, flour, vegetables and fruits, and soap and sanitisers.
Other measures it proposed include tax rebates for individuals and companies as well as grants for small and medium-sized businesses.
Last week, the government announced a number of similar measures, including regulations imposing controls on the prices of dozens of basic products.
At a media briefing, Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel said, “Price rises may not exceed the increase in the costs of raw materials or inputs and profit levels should not be hiked higher than the period prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.”
The Minister of Small Business Development, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, also announced a Support Intervention to help small businesses.
Ntshavheni said the Intervention will comprise a Debt Relief Fund and a Business Growth/Resilience Facility.
She added, “The Debt Relief Fund is aimed at providing relief on existing debts and repayments to assist SMMEs during the period of the COVID-19 State of Disaster.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to outline further measures in his address to the nation later on Monday.