The EFF has suspended all its political meetings and elective conferences indefinitely and is calling for the local government elections, which where scheduled to be held between August 3 and November 3 2021, to be postponed and held in conjunction with the national general elections in 2024.
This call was made by EFF leader Julius Malema, following the meeting of the party’s highest decision-making body, its central command council, on Wednesday.
During his virtual address, Malema said his party had taking into consideration the surge of Covid-19 coronavirus infections as well as how overwhelmed healthcare workers had been and, as a result, did not want to go ahead with gatherings that could add to this increase.
He added that he supported the restrictions that had been put in place by government to try to reduce the infection rate. The level 3 regulations, however, also restrict any form of political activity, which has lead the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) to approach the court, seeking leave to postpone by-elections that were meant to take place this month.
“We call for local government elections to therefore be postponed until 2024,” said Malema.
He also indicated that the EFF would be engaging with other political parties about the postponement of the local government elections and holding them together with the national and provincial elections in 2024.
Malema said his party would be approaching the IEC and furnishing the organisation with a “concept document” on how his party envisioned this postponement of the elections.
Besides the postponement of the local government elections, Malema called on the department of education to postpone the opening of schools until such as time as the infections curve of the second wave of the pandemic had flattened.
He said sending kids to school would be grossly negligent as the infection rate that could result from such an activity would seriously overwhelm already overburdened healthcare workers.
Malema also said the party’s central command council had reached a decision to suspend all political activity, particularly those that required physical gatherings. “This decision comes after strong consideration and the central command council has agreed to immediately suspend political activity indefinitely.”
He added that, in line with this decision, “the central command team has also resolved to keep all national and provincial offices closed”.
The party would, however, continue its political activity through “online political lessons” that started last year, said Malema, and indicated that the EFF’s labour and gender desks “would continue fighting for the cause of the marginalised”.
Malema also urged government to reinstate all economic relief programmes such as the Covid-19 grants, as well as “continue to support small businesses”.
He called on banks to provide repayment holidays “for the next six months” and landlords not to evict tenants, saying the current lockdown restrictions would mean that some people would struggle to make rent payments.