No loan, car or house payments for four months among EFF proposals to tackle coronavirus impact

23 March 2020 - 16:00 By Zingisa Mvumvu
Economic measures proposed by the EFF include government restricting price increases on essentials like hand sanitisers and certain foods, and municipalities extending the payment of property rates, water and electricity by 30 additional working days.
Economic measures proposed by the EFF include government restricting price increases on essentials like hand sanitisers and certain foods, and municipalities extending the payment of property rates, water and electricity by 30 additional working days.
Image: The Times / Moeletsi Mabe

The EFF has proposed socialist economic measures it believes should be implemented to help South Africans cope with the financial blows dealt by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the party's proposals, the EFF believes all commercial banks should introduce a four-month payment holiday on home, vehicle finance, personal and credit card loans, among others.

Furthermore, said EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo, government should bless all workers who earn less than R15,000 a month with a one-off R3,500 grant.

Pambo said mobile phone networks should give all customers with registered SIM cards 200MB free data and 15 free voice call minutes.

“Banks should not be allowed to retrench workers during the payment holiday initiative, and all payment initiatives should be for a minimum of four months,” said Pambo.

“Government must prohibit all evictions, whether they be of occupied land or tenant residence, and all rental payments must be suspended. Property owners must receive a subsidy to mitigate the impact of defaulting on rental payments.

“Government must give companies and individuals tax rebates and breaks, and grants for small and medium business with workers to cover salaries on condition there are no retrenchments. The Reserve Bank should make available a credit facility for banks with the directive that banks must lend to small and medium businesses.”

Other economic interventions proposed by the EFF include:

  • All municipalities should extend the period of payment of property rates, water and electricity by 30 additional working days, and no municipality or Eskom should be allowed to disconnect services;

  • Government must publish price guidelines for essential and basic products such as soap, sanitisers, bread, milk, flour, maize meal, vegetables and fruit;

  • All government departments, state-owned companies and municipalities must pay outstanding verifiable invoices where work was done and completed according to the requirements within the next 10 working days, and strong measures should be put in place to deal decisively with corruption; and
  • The department of sports, arts and culture, the National Arts Council and the National Lottery must not fund any new work but rather use that money to compensate artists who were contracted to do work at all official theatres in the country.

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