EFF vow to occupy ‘rogue businesses’ that stay open during lockdown_1

The EFF are already delivering on promise to workers across South Africa. The leadership has stated that they will pay a ‘nice, special visit’ to any businesses who force employees to come into work during the national lockdown – which begins at 23:59 on Thursday night.

All non-essential workspaces must close down for a three-week period. Things like grocery stores, petrol stations and medical facilities will be exempt from lockdown, and will continue to operate as they keep the country running. However, some firms have started taking liberties with the meaning of ‘non-essential’.

EFF threaten to ‘visit’ businesses that defy government orders

Through their Twitter account, the EFF implored those being asked to work – against government advice – to slide in their DMs and anonymously report their employers:

“We call on all employees, who are being forced to work during this national lockdown, to sign leave forms and send us a DM on Twitter with the company name and address – so that we can give them a ‘nice, special Visit’. Not all services are essential services.”EFF statement

Who’s in the bad books?

They have already had submissions from workers at Standard Bank’s call centres and Amazon’s distribution sites, as well as a number of smaller firms. The majority of the complaints highlight how some businesses simply won’t adhere to the potentially life-saving measures that lockdown brings.

@StandardBankZA Achievement Awards Group is a call center and does not fall under essential services. EFF will pay your company a special visit if you do not adhere the #NationalLockdown @SAPoliceService @deptoflabour pic.twitter.com/Wm91ZgIdVZ— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) March 26, 2020

EFF ramp-up lockdown pressure

There’s just one problem: The EFF, as well-intentioned as their fight for workers’ rights may be, have perhaps failed to consider that any “nice, special visits” would also be in contravention of the law. Unless they plan to occupy sites after the final day of lockdown, they could also breach the rules. The party are hoping that an intense campaign on social media will at least put pressure on these rogue businesses.