The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have welcomed the nation wide lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday in efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

In the statement the EFF says, “All forms of avoidable human contact should be avoided, and this should apply to meetings of less then 100 people.”

The party says it is aware that the lockdown will have devastating economic consequences, but it also considered this measure the only way to contain the spread of the virus.

On Monday night Ramaphosa announced that the country will be on a nation wide lockdown for 21 days as of Thursday Midnight, with all political parties in the National Assembly backing the decision.

Ramaphosa said, “This is a decisive measure to save the lives of South Africans from infection and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of our people. While this measure will have a considerable impact on people’s livelihoods, on the life of our society and our economy, the human cost of delaying this action will be far, far greater.”

The number of confirmed cases was confirmed by the Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize to be at 402 on Monday after noon.

The EFF called on government to pay 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 essential health services.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) also welcomed lockdown with its leader, John Steenhuisen, saying “South Africa is facing a wartime situation against the pandemic and has welcomed the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) for the lockdown.”

Steenhuisen said, “We’re very pleased that the President has picked up some of the suggestions we have made around the economic intervention. This is really now going to be up to ordinary South Africans. We’re only going to be as strong as the weakest link in our chain.”

DA leader reacts to the national lockdown:

‘Proactive step’

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says: “UDM supports the government’s lockdown announcement. It’s a proactive step intended in saving the lives of many in South Africa and to further contain the spread of this deadly virus. Yes, it’s inconveniencing but we can’t afford to be reckless.”

Cope spokesperson, Dennis Bloem, says “The Congres of the People is fully behind President Cyril Ramaphosa.  We support the measures that he has announced by trying to address the problem of COVID-19 and we want to urge all South Africans to support and abide by the measures .”

AL Jama-Ah has endorsed the financial stimulus package for Small Businesses. AL Jama-Ah leader Ganief Hendricks says: “I would like to send my gratitude to the Oppenheimer and the Ruppert’s for the billion of rands to assist small businesses and the funding that has been made available by the department to assist small businesses.”

‘Obey President’s instructions’

The IFP has welcomed the moves taken by President Cyril Ramaphosa and has called on South Africans to obey the President’s instructions.

IFP Spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa, “As far as the IFP is concerned this national shutdown is in the national interest and we are giving the government the fullest support and the IFP mayors will make sure that there is adherence from the IFP. We are saying hashtag stay at home.

INFOGRAPHIC: 21-day lockdown measures