The People’s Party led by exiled former Zimbabwean Cabinet Minister, Walter Mazembi has appealed to South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa to include non-South African nationals in the country’s humanitarian aid initiatives.
We present the party’s statement in full below.
RE: STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA ON FURTHER ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL MEASURES IN RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought suffering throughout the world and the region has not been spared. Your response Mr. President Sir, through your COVID-19 Taskforce, has been amazingly good, we appreciate.
Allow us to refer to your most immediate televised speech on the 21. April 2020 which outlined a raft of measures to cushion South African citizens and businesses from the attended disruption. Your timely intervention is testament to your great leadership skills and this is what Africa and the region will require going forward.
However, we note with great concern that there is a section of South African society which has b.n evidently excluded from these raft of measures as announced. In the spirit of ‘Ubuntu, we bring to your attention that South Africa is a melting pot of nationalities and cultures. Currently, resident in South Africa are documented and undocumented political refug.s, economic refugees, persons with disabilities, and visitors alike caught up in the lockdown within the borders of the great Republic of South Africa.
We note your emulatable creativity in coming up with an initial R500 billion to be raised from several sources as outlined in your statement representative of 10 percent of GDP. It is our submission that all Africans resident in South Africa and classified as taxpayers, whether as individuals or as corporates including small and medium enterprises and have a verifiable contribution to the GDP of South Africa should support under this intervention.
Equally, we make the plea on behalf of tax-paying non-South African employees including self-employed individuals who are able to demonstrate that they contribute to the GDP of South Africa. We also make a plea on behalf of commission enumerated employees, frontline and shop floor staff in the service industry who are part of employer returns to SARS.
Allow us to point out herein that there has been a great outcry from the afore-mentioned group of people who are now finding it difficult to survive. Just like any other person in the world they are traumatized by the virus and are hiding but hunger has now camped in their households leaving them with a double tragedy. It’s a humanitarian crisis of never been seen proportions,
As of last night, (21/04/2020) an online survey carried out by a non- governmental organisation received in excess of 5000 responses in less than 12 hours, a sobering indication of the gravity of the situation obtaining- a catastrophe. The numbers continue to rise as the online survey remains live with people calling in asking for food and sanitary wear.
We call upon you Mr President, Chair of the South African COVID-19 Task-force, Chairperson of the African Union to urgently intervene for the purpose of averting an impending humanitarian crisis. South Africa has a great history of playing host to Africans from the region and beyond. South Africa continues to pride itself in the history of nations for being the safest sanctuary and the ultimate guarantor of human rights despite being the last to attain independence. Regrettably, that does not reflect in the social and economic measures announced in your statement on ‘Further Economic and Social Measures in Response to COVID-15 Epidemic’ of 21. April 2020.
We also appreciate and note that there are efforts of reciprocal repatriation amongst countries in the region, however, we caution that such a remedy may not be effective taking cognisant of prevailing conditions in receiving countries. A repatriation exercise shouldn’t be an exercise of moving our people from a frying pan into fire as many of them will be going into greater uncertainties in their home countries.
Allow us to mention further that there have been citizens efforts in trying to source and provide food hampers to the above groups of people but the demand has exceeded capacity. We believe that your government is better placed to assist in this regard. No citizen action can outpace government in terms of sustainability, there has never been a time when governments the world over are being called to become governments for all by showing inclusivity, through your esteemed chairmanship of the African Union we are by extension making a Pan-African appeal for governments to act as all-inclusive hosts in their national responses to COVID-15.
Your Excellency, we wish to renew the assurances of our highest consideration for your esteemed office.
Lloyd Msipa Secretary General People’s Party Zimbabwe firstname.lastname@example.org cc: Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) cc: Democratic Alliance (DA) cc: United Notions High Commission for Refugees cc : World Food Program