A coalition of civil society organisations in South Africa has presented ideas that will help to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus and mitigate the adverse political and socioeconomic impacts on the country. In a statement, the coalition said that while the government of South Africa has a critical role to play in coordinating actions and distributing resources to citizens, civil society organisations must hold the government accountable.
The coalition also came up with a plan of action to guide further response to the coronavirus crisis. The plan covers income security for all. The means for achieving that will be for employers to continue to pay salaries or grant sick leave while employees are restricted to their homes. As part of the plan of action, the coalition also asked the government to directly support self-employed workers and casual workers. The coalition also stated that all households, residential institutions, the homeless and the informally housed must have easy access to food, sanitation, especially water, and safe ablution facilities. The coalition added that essential private facilities must be appropriated for public use to provide a unified and fair distribution of essential goods and services to all. The coalition stated that community health workers must be trained, supported and, along with other frontline health and emergency services workers, have access to the resources necessary to safely and effectively contain the virus.
The coalition noted that there is a need for a strong education campaign against all forms of violence, especially domestic violence during the shut down as stay-at-home orders cause tension in families, which lead to violence in some cases. Communication, the coalition added, must be free, open and democratised.
The coalition includes Equal Education, Medecins Sans Frontières, Denis Hurley Centre, African Water Commons Collective Triangle Project, Popular Education Programme, Grace Family Church, Salt River Heritage Society Sonke Gender Justice, Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT), Economic Justice Network of FOCCISA, Initiative for Community Advancement, Tshwane Leadership Foundation, AIDS Foundation of South Africa, Refugee Social Services, New World Foundation, The Independent Producers Organisation, Documentary Filmmakers Association, People’s Health Movement South Africa, Academics for Free Education, Workers World Media Collective, Bonteheuwel Development Forum, Middleberg Environmental Justice Network, Housing Assembly, Health Enabled, South African Green Revolutionary Council, ActionAid South Africa amongst others.
Source: Daily Maverick
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