The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) welcomes this evening’s address to the nation by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who announced that the country now moves to Adjusted Alert Level 3 Lockdown.
While we welcome this decision, we remain concerned that the President, together with the Executive, have forgotten that Parliament is a sphere of the state. We find the lack of transparency and consultation with the Leaders of Political Parties in Parliament worrying.
We therefore call for greater consultation in decision-making processes, as there has been no consultation of late with leaders of political parties, who represent the people of South Africa.
The announcement by the President on the implementation of many of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan measures are welcomed. We note the reinstatement of the Social Relief of Distress Grant (SRDG), which will help millions of South Africans worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The financial relief for small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), including TERS-relief for businesses and the reduction in SARS pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) levies for companies, is much welcomed.
Furthermore, the additional support to low-income earners – below the threshold of R6 500 per month – is welcomed. The hospitality and retail sectors were severely affected by the lockdown and the recent protest action in the country.
We call on government and the Department of Health to fast-track efforts related to the vaccination drive, and to strongly consider extending operating hours at all public healthcare facilities and private vaccination sites, to include weekends. This would certainly assist in making up for the numbers in Gauteng and KZN in particular, where people were unable to get vaccinated during the protests which flared up in these respective provinces.
The decision to move the country into Adjusted Alert Level 3 is welcomed, as we now need to rebuild our economy, following the billions of rands in damages and losses our economy suffered during the recent unrest.
The IFP fully supports any initiative by government to reduce poverty, unemployment, and inequality in our country.
Hon. Narend Singh, MP
Acting National Spokesperson & Chief Whip in Parliament
083 788 5954
Hon. Velenkosini Hlabisa, MPL
IFP President & Leader of the Official Opposition in the KZN Legislature
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