Adequate care should be available to all citizens by ensuring access to screening, treatment and medication. A holistic consideration of treatment options is needed for the majority who are not on medical aid, as well as the protection of health care practitioners.
The wealth gap in South Africa meant that poverty, starvation and unemployment rates were already a reality many had to grapple with before the national disaster. It is important to consider the most vulnerable citizens first – through dignified and compassionate solutions.
Access to sanitization and basic services such as potable water are important in fighting the spread of the virus. This includes but is not limited to refuse removal, alcohol based hand sanitizers and water provided by municipalities, that should be uninterrupted.
Pre-emptive measures to secure food across the nation is important, in addition to donations and grants provided by the government to ensure nutrition for all. Importantly, opportunistic price hikes by retailers must be stopped.
Access to data means access to real time information and resources, and is vital to all South Africans. Free data and internet must be provided to all citizens to ensure the success of the lockdown.
Financial institutions including banks have a huge responsibility to play in helping citizens. Measures should be put in place to ensure that banks halt activities that could leave many people homeless during the pandemic.
The informal sector is a direct cash injection into many homes as a means to survival. Their protection is the protection of their families and homes, and their inclusion as essential services is imperative.
Basic human rights, which are protected by the Constitution and stipulated in the Bill of Rights, should not be negated during this period. While other rights and how they are exercised might have to be temporarily paused, all citizens should be treated with dignity.
Solutions for victims of gender based and other forms of violence should be considered, as the confinement of people across the globe in locked down countries has given evidence of the need for support and shelter outside of people’s homes.
A reconsideration and reallocation of financial resources such as allocation of funds and halting of certain financial institution activities, under instruction from the ministry, is important in keeping the economy going.
Effective and comprehensive metal health services should be made available to help citizens navigate the unique and unprecedented stresses that come with pandemics, as well as the national lockdown.
The civil society organisations are at the forefront of community and government interactions and engagement. They should receive adequate financial support to ensure they continue their work.
Communication directly from communities is crucial in effective and accurate information sharing for citizens across the nation.
As a means to provide access to food for all citizens, informal food traders and providers should be allowed to operate within the regulations of the lockdown that would also allow them to continue to earn an income.
We will commit advocacy programmes and public education on issues pertaining to immigration. Advocate for the Section 9 of the Constitution guarantees the right of every person not to be unfairly discriminated against.