The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) notes the announcement of additional health and safety measures to combat the second wave of Covid-19 over the festive season. The increasing numbers of infections and deaths is something that should alarm all South Africans.
The Federation supports the targeted approach focusing on current and likely hotspots, as well as stricter measures towards super spreader activities. These are needed because we cannot afford to be complacent in the face of such a deadly pandemic.
Whilst supporting these health and safety measures, the government needs to do much more to enforce them. There is no point in announcing interventions if law enforcement and the department of labour are not going to enforce them. They need to crack down on public transport, shebeens, bars, and other social gatherings, where increasing numbers of people have simply chosen to ignore the health and safety measures.
The nation cannot afford blanket lockdowns. COVID-19 will be with us for some time and we need to learn to adjust to it whilst protecting the economy from further disruptions.
The Federation reiterates its position that the government needs to extend the UIF Covid-19 TERS for workers and workplaces that remain under government-imposed restrictions. The UIF Covid-19 TERS should stay until the end of the disaster management restrictions. The R350 Covid-19 grant for the long term unemployed needs to be extended beyond January.
COSATU calls on all South Africans to embrace and adhere to these measures without fail. We cannot afford to allow the 2nd wave to spiral out of control nor can we manage another total lockdown.
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080 Cell: 060 975 6794