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WATCH | Ramaphosa's lockdown will cause 'social unrest': Duduzane Zuma

07 May 2020 - 21:13 By ZINGISA MVUMVU

Duduzane Zuma, the son of former president Jacob Zuma, has said the national lockdown to tackle Covid-19 will result in “social unrest”.

Zuma agreed with Duduzane's assessment.

In the second episode of the “Zooming with Zumas” conversation with his father, Duduzane slams President Cyril Ramaphosa's administration's decision to put the country and the economy under national lockdown, saying it was “premature”.

In a long digital conversation with the former president, Duduzane says government was wrong to rush into a lockdown similar to lockdowns that were introduced by first world countries or developed economies.

Duduzane argues that the socio-economic conditions of South Africans were too different from those who lived in the western world and South Africans would struggle to recover from the economic effects of the  lockdown.

Duduzane says the lockdown is going to destroy the livelihood of the poor and the “shrinking middle class” hence his belief that civil unrest is imminent.

According to him, the national lockdown regulations sidelined the poor in favour of big business who were in a position to lobby and influence government decisions.

The looming retrenchments and businesses that are going to fold because of the impact of the lockdown are going to trigger unrest, he predicted.

“A social or civil unrest is on the cards whether we like it or not and how do we expect people not to go and fight for their families?” said Duduzane.

“We do not condone violence and we do not condone activities of looting, which are illegal in our constitution, but we are supposed to survive.”

Zuma Jr said government's bias towards big business could be demonstrated by, among other examples, the allowing of iron ore mines to operate and the export of wine which he believes are not essential services during the pandemic.

“So, if lobbying is happening at that level where business people can lobby and get their way, who is lobbying for the smaller business person?” asked Duduzane.

Duduzane said everything about lockdown only favoured the privileged such as how almost all life had become digital, closing out poor people without internet access and smart gadgets.

Furthermore, he expressed concern about the deployment of soldiers as part of the enforcement of the lockdown.

“That messaging as well is a very touch and go messaging for people on the ground,” he said.

He said the continued deployment of soldiers on the streets against the wishes of some sections of society, would ultimately create a catastrophic collision between the two sides.

“As things look, it is looking very bleak. If it were me I would not have locked down in the sense of locking down, I would have done it partially in the places that matter.”

Duduzane said he would have focused on ports of entry for lockdown, and isolated citizens with the highest risk of infection while letting everyone continue with their lives with emphasis on precautions such as wearing face masks.

Zuma agreed with his son's analysis.

“It is true that it is a loaded dice for poor people as always. I think in another pandemic during this generation we will be better prepared, I hope so. The critical point is why do we still have people living in squatter camps.

“I am more happier now than I have been that you think about problems of poor people, that is the critical point,” he said.