One of South Africa's biggest political parties, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), has cautioned against the looming shift to Level 3 lockdown restrictions.
EFF caution against moving to Level 3
From 1 June, social distancing regulations are set to be less stringent, as the government continues its phased reopening of the economy, which will be accompanied by the return of children to school.
In a statement issued out over the weekend, the red berets have expressed concern at the continuing spread of the coronavirus – saying the decision to reopen schools should only be based on scientific evidence.
"The reopening of schools and the different sectors must absolutely be informed by the absolute certainty that this will not lead to increased infections, hospitalisations and death."
Placing black lives at risk
The EFF cited the outbreak at Impala Platinum mines in Limpopo as an example of what could happen with more industries returning to business.
"The voices that are calling for premature, unscientific reopening of the economy are led by White Monopoly Capital that has never cared for the lives of our people," the party said.
"Their view of black lives has always been as cheap and easily disposable; hence historically, blacks have always been subjected to risky working conditions that have shortened their lives or leave them with disease. The white monopoly capital believes that its privileged white population will be less exposed if not exposed at all because their working conditions have guarantees of occupational health, safety and general access to quality healthcare. Opening the economy will only lead to massive death of black people."Economic Freedom Fighters
With daily COVID-19 cases hovering around 1 000, the World Health Organization (WHO) as advised against easing the restrictions.
"These hardcore and undisputed scientific observations defeat any consideration to reopen many sectors of the economy and schools," the statement continued. Furthermore, the intention to permit the sale of alcohol will only worsen the situation because even when there is no effort to contain a pandemic, alcohol has been responsible for many health-related and social ills in society."Economic Freedom Fighters
The EFF also recommended that schools only be reopened on certain conditions, such as a guarantee that the curve has been flattened as well as assurance that scholar transport will be safe and reliable.
South Africa has over 20 000 cases of the coronavirus, with the death toll now three away from 400.