The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has rejected what it termed as the “ending” of the lockdown, saying the decision has “no scientific and epidemiological basis.”
In an address to the nation on Sunday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country will move to level 3 lockdown on 1 June.
“This will result in the opening up of the economy and the removal of a number of restrictions on the movement of people, while significantly expanding and intensifying our public health interventions,” he said.
However, the EFF accused Ramaphosa and the government of putting the lives of South Africans at risk.
It said, “The announcement by Ramaphosa tonight must be read as a resignation speech from fighting COVID-19 and saving lives, especially black lives.
“Tonight’s decision must therefore be categorically rejected as reckless and senseless, only benefitting the white capitalist establishment at the expense of black people’s lives.”
Ramaphosa said despite the relaxation of restrictions, “now is the time when we must intensify our efforts and deepen our cooperation.” He added, “At this time, more than any other, we are reminded of the words of Madiba, when he said: ‘It is now in your hands.’”
‘Govt has abdicated its responsibility’
The EFF however said this shows that the government no longer has a plan to deal with the virus, adding, “The government had an option of continuing with the lockdown with a guarantee of food for everyone.
“They could have also taken this time to expand quality healthcare for everyone. They also could have uplifted millions out of informal settlements, renovated, expanded public schools and sanitation for everyone.
“It must be put on record today that the ANC-led government has abdicated its responsibility to guarantee the right to life, especially of black people.”
EFF leaders also took to social media to criticise Ramaphosa’s decision. Julius Malema tweeted a picture bearing the words, “It will end in tears.”
EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu added, “Re-opening of so many economic sectors, schools, estimated eight million workers back at work, and no scientific and epidemiological illustration that pandemic will be contained. Ramaphosa has surrendered our people and will bear heavy consequences. Watch the space!”
MP Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi also tweeted, “Despite @WHO advice that SA is not ready to move to level 3, Ramaphosa has declared the move anyway. No science whatsoever supporting ease of lockdown.”