Covid-19 lockdown: Ramaphosa be serious,10 000 field workers is too little

Covid-19 lockdown: Ramaphosa be serious,10 000 field workers is too little

President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Ramaphosa continues with his haphazard and timid response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his public address yesterday, Ramaphosa promised to deploy 10 000 field workers who would do door to door screening for symptoms of Covid-19. This is too little too late. What is required is mass testing! South Korea arrested the march of the virus through mass testing. The country was able to test 15 000 people a day, free of charge. This is testing not even screening.

Black First Land First (BLF) has persistently asked for bold and decisive action. Turn the 23 000 voting stations into testing stations. Bring 50 000 healthcare workers in. It can be done.

Added to these measures, give people food and provide financial relief for the informal sector.

It’s time for decisive, bold actions. Show [email protected]!

Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee of (BLF NCC)
31 March 2020

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail: [email protected]

Zanele Lwana
(BLF Deputy President)
Cell: +27 79 986 7225

Coronavirus: BLF calls for proper measures in prisons to defeat pandemic

Coronavirus: BLF calls for proper measures in prisons to defeat pandemic

Image credit: EPA via Aljazeera

The country is in the grip of a devastating coronavirus pandemic. Factors that contribute to the spread of the virus in the country in general – including population density; huge numbers of immunocompromised individuals due to the high prevalence of medical conditions like HIV and tuberculosis; and poor hygiene – are also responsible for it spreading within prisons. The elderly too are at a high risk of getting infected.

To date we have over 1187 people who have tested positive for the virus and the number of infections are increasing at an alarming rate. Moreover between 60 and 70% (41.5 million) of the population (59.5 million) are predicted to contract the infection, of which 19% (8 million) will be gravely ill and need hospitalization and 2.3% (1 million) will die. These predictions are in line with the government‘s adoption of the ‘herd immunity’ policy.

Black First Land First (BLF) has received complaints from prisoners and detainees of two prisons in Vereeniging – the Leeuhof Prison & Correctional Facility and the
Vereeniging Correctional Centre – that there are no visible protective measures in place to reduce the risk of the spread of the coronavirus that has already infected at least three people – one in the former and two in the latter prison.

To this end:

i. there are no screening, testing and monitoring mechanisms in place for prisoners and detainees;
ii. there is no ‘contact investigation’ process in place;
iii. those who were in contact with those that have contracted the virus (and tested positive) have not been tested nor quarantined;
iv. proper standards of hygiene are not observed due to the lack of sanitizers and masks at the very least;
v. social distancing and self-quarantining are practically challenging in the prison setup; and
vi. inmates are at high risk of contracting the virus, falling critically ill and even dying.

In each case the prison authorities have been made aware of the seriousness of the issue. To this end BLF’s letter to the Leeuhof Prison & Correctional Facility last week (23 March) has fallen on deaf ears. We have also written to the Vereeniging Correctional Centre and are awaiting their response.

The same situation prevails in other prisons in the country.

BLF accordingly calls on the correctional services ministry and authorities to:

i. act without delay to prevent the spread of the virus and loss of life among prisoners, detainees and even staff; and
ii. put proper mechanisms in place for testing; contact tracing; observance of proper standards of hygiene; and social distancing and self-quarantining for inmates

It will prove to be catastrophic should Correctional Services proceed as if everything is normal.

Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee of (BLF NCC)
29 March 2020

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail: [email protected]

Zanele Lwana
(BLF Deputy President)
Cell: +27 79 986 7225

BLF rejects Ramaphosa’s attempt to crush AMCU

Black First Land First (BLF) rejects Ramaphosa’s attempt to crush the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).

Post the coup to remove President Zuma, Ramaphosa has continuously used state institutions to fight all his political enemies, in service of white monopoly capital. This will forever be evident in Marikana, when he commanded the South African Police Services (SAPS) to use “concomitant action” when responding to a legitimate workers protest in 2012, resulting in a bloody massacre of our people.

AMCU and it’s President, Joseph Mathunjwa, stood on the side of the workers and against the racist colonial mining company, Lonmin, where Ramaphosa enjoyed shareholding. Ramaphosa has now teamed up with Gwede Mantashe, who is known for his hatred of Mathunjwa, to fight AMCU!

BLF stands with AMCU and all the workers. We demand that Ramaphosa and Mantashe desist from using the state to aid white monopoly capital in destroying AMCU, who have regularly humbled the white establishment by galvanizing the workers through mass action and protests. BLF will write to the labour relations registrar, Lehlohonolo Mole, to defend the right of workers to organise in their defense against white monopoly capital and its agents in government.

#HandsOffAMCU

Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee (BLF NCC)

25 April 2019

Black First Land First Email: [email protected]

Zanele Lwana
(Deputy President)
Cell: +27 79 986 7225

Lindsay Maasdorp
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 915 2957

Brian Tloubatla
(Head of Media & Communications)
Cell: +27 82 216 7664

BLF-KZN Stands with all affected by flooding

Black First Land First – KwaZulu Natal (BLF-KZN) sends heartfelt condolences to the families that lost their loved ones in the recent floods that ravaged the province of KwaZulu-Natal. We would further like to express solidarity with the families that lost their homes and have since been displaced by these floods.

BLF-KZN blames these floods on the continued plight of landlessness of the black majority. The black majority continues to dwell in inhumane settlements. These hell-holes often termed “townships” are a result of colonialism and the racist system of apartheid spacial design. These townships are not and have never been conducive for black people to build lives and families.

BLF-KZN asks, why is it only black people and their settlements that continue to be affected by these weather conditions? Why are black people still squashed in townships in a so called post liberation society? Indeed as always maintained, ‘1994 changed fokol’.

We reiterate that these are not natural disasters but man-made disasters by white people. It is only the return of the land to its rightful owners that will change the conditions of black people.

BLF-KZN further calls on the government to help these families and communities to rebuild their homes and bury their loved ones with dignity.

Return the land and end black suffering!

Issued by Black First Land First – KwaZulu Natal Provincial Coordinating Committee (BLF-KZN PCC)

24 April 2019

Zizamele Zah Dlamini
(Provincial Chairperson)
Cell: +27 72 978 6962

Vusi Mhlaba
(Provincial Secretary)
Cell: +27 73 098 3009

Thobani Zikalala
(Provincial Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 74 246 7848