Premier Alan Winde has expressed deep concern over a call for a nationwide shutdown by the Economic Freedom Fighters planned for next Monday, 20 March.
The Premier stressed, “Threats of violence, looting of businesses, intimidation, and disruption of services is totally unacceptable. The EFF has the constitutional right to protest, but it is intolerable for them to threaten the constitutional rights of other citizens, especially where essential services such as individual safety, healthcare, and education are concerned. This protest, as misguided as it is, should only proceed within the law.” He added, “Videos of EFF members and Party leader Julius Malema circulating on social media are tantamount to threats of unrest and incitement of violence. I will not stand for this.”
“We as the Western Cape Government (WCG) are taking this matter very seriously and will not allow this culture of fear being created by the EFF to take hold, “warned the Premier. On Friday, 10 March the Western Cape Departments of Health and Social Development were granted an interdict by the Western Cape High Court against NEHAWU workers who were threatening essential services in our province, and we will not hesitate to act in a similar manner in this situation.”
“The WCG is pursuing all legal options, to ensure that here in this province, the EFF is obliged to respect the rule of law and refrain from destructive action. I intend meeting with Western Cape Police Oversight and Community Safety Minister Reagen Allen and the Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Services (SAPS) this week to discuss the SAPS’ plan of action to protect the lives and livelihoods of our citizens,” he emphasised.
Premier Winded pointed out, “The province’s economy has been showing promising signs of recovery despite the devastation created by the energy crisis. What we need to do, irrespective of political affiliation is to maintain our focus on growing our economy and creating more jobs, not denying people the right to freedom of movement, work, and access to basic services. We grow our economic freedom by opening up our society not shutting it down,” the Premier pointed out.
The Premier urges the national government to take action to stop the EFF from proceeding with the shutdown . He reiterated, “It serves no constructive purpose, and taking into account the recent illegal actions by trade union NEHAWU, will only exacerbate an already incendiary situation.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic Of South Africa: Western Cape Provincial Government.