President Cyril Ramaphosa and EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg – The EFF has welcomed the national lockdown announced by the president and says this extreme measure is the only way to ensure that the spread of Covid-19 Coronavirus is brought under control.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday announced a national lockdown which will see all non-essential businesses close and citizens will be isolated at home. Only essential services will remain open. These services include grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, petrol stations and emergency service personnel.

The SA National Defense Force has been brought in to help SAPS implement the national lockdown where citizens will only be allowed to leave their homes in extreme circumstances.

The country had reported 402 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus as of Monday afternoon.

The EFF, which had called for the shutdown, said everyone should support it.

The party said in a statement that it was aware that the measure would bring devastating impact on the economy and small businesses.

It called on banks to help lessen the burden by providing a loan break to businesses that will be greatly affected by the lockdown. The party said the government needed to pay attention to poor communities during the lockdown.

“The EFF calls on the South African government to pay particular attention to poor communities and people with the purpose of making sure that they don’t run out of basic services such as food and healthcare essentials. The support of small businesses should be expedited because many South Africans, particularly street traders and businesses that survive from the tourism industry, will be devastatingly affected,” it said.

The party has also forbidden any structural meetings and has closed down its offices.

“As the EFF, we hereby forbid all meetings of the organisation at all levels and should instead, communicate via electronic platforms and this should apply to all organisations without failure. All offices of the EFF are hereby closed until further notice.

“We all carry the obligation to defeat the rapid spread of the virus and should, at this critical moment, work towards total elimination of the virus. Let us all work in unison to defeat the virus which has the potential to kill a lot of our people,”

Ramaphosa also announced a series of economic measures which will be implemented to help alleviate the burden on businesses.

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