The African National Congress (ANC) Provincial Executive Committee in the Eastern Cape held a virtual Special PEC meeting on the, 24 April 2020, to discuss the impact of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Province and the response to it.
The meeting received and discussed a wide-ranging political overview presented by the Provincial Chairperson, Cde Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane, which reflected on the response by the government in the fight against the Covid-19.
The meeting noted that since the first case was recorded in the Eastern Cape, the Province has more than 488 confirmed cases and ten confirmed deaths with new cases being reported every day.Twenty-five recoveries have been reported.
In light of the above, the PEC agreed that it is only the unity of the people that can defeat the virus and unwavering commitment to principles. This is a fight that requires maximum cooperation from everyone, underpinned by the understanding that, working together we are going to overcome the virus.
The PEC commended the leadership of President Ramaphosa and applauded the National Coronavirus Command Council on the sterling, focused leadership they have shown during these difficult times and the support for the vast majority of the people of our country across political, cultural and religious lines.
The PEC further appreciated the honest account of the Provincial Command Council and feedback on challenges faced during the implementation of various interventions in the context of limited resources, technical expert capabilities and infrastructure challenges besetting the Province.
The PEC re-iterated its call for clean, ethical, moral and accountable administrative leadership and commitment of leadership to all scrutiny as these virtues are part of a transparent governance system. The PEC continues to appreciate that those who hold office – in the interest of the voters and the entire population – must play an active role; including holding the office bearers accountable.
As such, the PEC resolved to take decisive action against all members of the organisation that contravene the national lockdown regulations. The PEC reaffirmed that stern action must be taken on ANC deployees who misuse and abuse relief measures such as food parcels, as this does not only brings the image of the organisation into disrepute but is counter-revolutionary and is against the values and principles that define the national liberation movement. Law enforcement agencies must continue to enforce the regulations without fear or favour.
The meeting received reports from government and deployed cadres on the efforts to combat the spread of the pandemic. It also considered proposals aimed at mitigating the adverse social and economic impact of the pandemic in the Eastern Cape. A presentation on the Provincial Expert Advisory Panel on Covid-19 Economic Response was presented to the meeting which focused on the effects and impact of Covid-19 on the economy and economic activities in the Province. The PEC agreed with the exit strategy key interventions, aligning them with the National Risk-Adjusted strategy.
The Exit Strategy key interventions will encompass the following:
Agriculture and food production
Digital Economy through ICT
Development Finance & Stimulus funding
The PEC welcomed the allocation of R307 million to the Dept of Health to speed up mass testing, acquire ventilators and establish field hospitals. This will further boost the fight against COVID-19 in the Province. The meeting resolved that government must strengthen the Health Department with the necessary administrative capacity, both in the Provincial Head Office and Regional Joint Operations Centres where it matters most.
Whilst we appreciate the work done with mass testing and screening – more capacity is needed as we anticipate that this will unearth more positive outcomes in particular from rural, peri-urban centres and in townships.
The PEC appreciated all strides in procuring PPE in the Province despite the reported difficulties faced in this regard. The PEC duly noted the importance of the provision of PPE in the fight against Covid-19. It further directed the Provincial Government to prioritise this area and ensure that all frontline workers are provided with all the necessary work-related equipment to fight against the scourge.
The PEC called for prioritisation of public facilities as isolation and quarantine sites, henceforth the collaboration between the Provincial Government and four universities for the availability of the accommodation facilities was most welcomed. The meeting further welcomed the initiative to collaborate with All Vice-Chancellors of WSU/NMU/UFH/Rhodes University to be engaged to assist with health capabilities in the fight against COVID-19 to provide their Health Faculties. We resolved that the state must unleash all its capabilities to win the fight against the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated our correctness on our resolution on the National Health Insurance. It has shown that the 54th ANC National Conference was correct in resolving that the organisation should ensure that the implementation of the NHI should be fast-tracked.
The meeting welcomed the establishment of the 12-member board of the Solidarity Fund together with the appointment of the Interim CEO. We have full confidence that the Fund will operate independently and for its intended purpose and will be biased towards the weak and vulnerable sectors and provinces.
The PEC urges all our communities to adhere to the regulations of the national lockdown and to cooperate with law enforcement personnel. We must all keep safe, maintain physical distance, practise personal hygiene, stay at home and limit movement only for essential purposes.
Most importantly, we strongly appeal to our communities not to stigmatize those affected and infected by the Covid-19.
We will continue to lend support to the government and ensure that measures applied result in an improved response to the fight against Covid-19.
ISSUED BY THE PROVINCIAL SECRETARY OF THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS, CDE LULAMA NGCUKAYITOBI
Provincial Head of Communications
Mobile No :0848439706/0849519924