Trade union Solidarity claims that the current implementation of South Africa’s lockdown will cause an economic implosion.
Because of this, it has made “comprehensive” proposals to President Ramaphosa and relevant ministers regarding changes it believes need to be made to the lockdown measures.
Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann said the coronavirus pandemic will remain for a long time, and South Africa will need to find a sustainable answer to it.
“A lockdown in its current format will cause an economic implosion,” Hermann said.
“For a sustained fight against the virus, people must be able to work in healthy environments.”
He said that South Africa should be “fearless” against the coronavirus and towards the economy to limit the long-term impact of the pandemic on the health of South Africans and the economy.
“Smart restrictions so that people can live and work well can bring all South Africans together in the fight against the virus,” said Hermann.
Solidarity’s proposals include amending the regulations in a manner which would make it possible for those who are healthy to continue working.
Measures proposed by Solidarity to regulate workplaces include strict hygiene regulations, protective equipment, rules around social distancing, changed working hours, regulation of numbers in the workplace, and workplace testing.
According to Solidarity, every effort should be made to enable South Africa’s workers and entrepreneurs to earn an income.
“It is necessary to make a shift from only essential workers to everyone who can work well,” said Flip Buys, head of the Solidarity Movement.
“The choice is not between health and work, but for a healthy work environment for as many as possible people.”
Solidarity believes this will protect vulnerable and lonely citizens, while simultaneously maintaining “peace and stability.”