The Revolutionary Alliance in the Eastern Cape comprising of the African National Congress (ANC), South African Communist Party (SACP), Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) held a virtual extended meeting with NEHAWU, SADTU and DENOSA on Monday 29 June 2020. The purpose of the Alliance Extended meeting was to discuss the reopening of schools and challenges faced by society in the fight against Covid-19 in the Province.
The Alliance in the Province appreciated the work and efforts of the Provincial Government in the fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus while also noting that it was necessary to increase the capacity both of health facilities and the personnel (Health-care workers) in fighting the virus.
Fundamentally, the Alliance is of the view that the ultimate solution lies in the change of an individual and collective behaviour amongst our communities . This behaviour, while not limited, but includes our people adhering to the lockdown regulations. The Alliance believes that while the government has relaxed the lockdown regulations, our citizens in the Province should continue to behave as if they are still in Alert Level 5. In practice, this should include people staying at home and ensuring social distancing to reduce the possibility of contracting the virus, and only visit public spaces for essential needs.
In considering the state of education and the impact of re-opening schools, the Alliance is of the firm view that in the interim period, schools must remain closed except for the Grade 12 Learners to return to school. The Alliance noted that given the increasing rate of infections in the Province, we must express our disapproval to the across-the-board reopening of schools, which includes other Grades.
The Alliance calls for the Department of Education to delay the reopening of schools for other Grades , which is intended for the 06 July 2020. The Alliance also echoes the sentiments raised by the Department of Education in the Province relating to the challenges of infrastructure and related matters, which will compromise the intentions to fight against Covid-19. It is against this background that we call for a differentiated approach to avert the possibility of getting health facilities overwhelmed.
The ANC, SACP, COSATU and SANCO further appreciate the Health-care workers (community health workers, nurses and doctors) who are at the front-line in the battle against the deadly COVID-19. We applaud their commitment, patriotism and zeal in taking care of our citizens who require health care services. The Alliance calls on Provincial Government at all material times to speedily avail the personal protective equipment(PPE) in all public health facilities in the Province. Health department must beef up its communications in the fight against Covid-19 and explore means to utilize community media to reach out to our communities.
We urge the church leaders, traditional leaders and business community to intensify their efforts in ensuring that there is compliance with lockdown regulations and ensure coherent communication – one message many voices. We call on our communities to stay at home, wash hands regularly and use a sanitizer. They must continue wearing masks when in public spaces and maintain social distance.
Protect Yourself. Defend Each Other: Let’s Do It Together.
Issued by: Eastern Cape Tripartite Alliance
Cde Lulama Ngcukayitobi : ANC Provincial Secretary
Cde Xolile Nqatha : SACP Provincial Secretary
Cde Mkhawuleli Maleki – COSATU Provincial Secretary
Cde Tony Duba : SANCO Provincial Secretary
Provincial Head of Communications
Mobile No :0848439706/0849519924