President Cyril Ramaphosa
After five weeks of starving the poor and unemployed, and taking the livlihioods of the informal sector, yesterday President Ramaphosa threw crumbs at our people and gave billions of rands to white monopoly capital (WMC).
The latest Covid-19 lockdown measures announced by Ramaphosa is hugely inadequate to assist the poor. Whilst Black First Land First (BLF) in principle welcomes increases the social grants, the R350 promised by Ramaphosa to the unemployed is an insult.The meager 250,000 food parcels promised by Ramaphosa shows just how out of touch he is with reality. There are over 25 million desperate people living in abject poverty in South Africa (SA).
There is not even a promise in the bailout package for the informal sector. Right from the inception BLF has called on the government to grant the poor, including the unemployed, a basic monthly universal grant of R2000. The measures announced by Ramaphosa would only ensure more wealth for WMC. The bulk of the R500 billion bailout is going to big business not to the people. There is no provision in the measures for the highly stressed frontline essential services workers, as well as rental and mortgage bond payment breaks. There is further no word in the bailout on the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges that have been left out in the cold, as the well endowed white universities march happilly to the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).
The most striking aspects of the announcement which shows that the COVID-19 crisis is being used to impose a brutal neoliberal policy regime upon the people, are:
– firstly, the deployment of the entire armed forces into society for almost three months as if there is a war; and
– secondly, the fact that Ramaphosa has already been engaging with the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank (WB) to fund the bailout of capital.
The burden of repayments shall not only rest with this generation but its progeny too – as national sovereignty would be handed over to the two notorious institutions that have brought untold harm to the African continent.
BLf rejects the IMF/WB slavery. We still maintain that giving a R2000 universal grant to the poor would be the more realistic relief. Furthmore, BLF doesn’t believe that the government’s promise of giving R350 to the unemployed would be met, just like how the previous promise of delivering food parcels to the needy never materialized.
BLF shall monitor the implementation of government’s promises whilst demanding that more should be done for the people.
We say no to the IMF/WB bailout of WMC. Bailout the people and save the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), instead.
Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee of (BLF NCC)
22 April 2020
Black First Land First Mail: [email protected]
(BLF Deputy President)
Cell: +27 79 986 7225
Reposted from the BLF website.