Cape Town – The business community has reportedly called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene as the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) continues to call for a countrywide shutdown on March 20.
Last week, the EFF cautioned business owners to close their businesses to avoid the risk of looting on the day.
With just a few days left to the national shutdown, party members with loud speakers reportedly warned business owners in townships to close their businesses on the day, News24. reported.
In a video message posted on the party’s social media accounts, EFF leader Julius Malema urged South Africans to take to the streets to protest the ongoing load shedding and call for President Cyril Ramaphosa to step down.
A Message From CIC @Julius_S_Malema
The streets are calling, Enough is Enough!
Join the National Shutdown on the 20th of March 2023 to demand the immediate resignation of Cyril Ramaphosa!#NationalShutdown pic.twitter.com/lZcH0CHo1F
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) March 13, 2023
But according to IOL, the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry NPC said the event had the potential to derail and further harm the country’s economy which was in a poor state.
“Businesses are trying to survive, and some are trying to resume their business operations following the 2021July unrest and April/May 2022 floods, even with the current state of the economy due to the energy, water and sanitation crisis.
“We believe a crisis cannot be resolved by using the proposed approach of a shutdown. Ours is to preserve the economy and protect the sustainability of businesses,” the report quoted chamber president Prasheen Maharaj as saying.
ALSO READ | ‘Don’t try that nonsense in Cape Town,’ Mayor Hill-Lewis warns EFF
Meanwhile, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has expressed concern, saying that said there’s no economic freedom if you shut down the economy, Eye Witness News reported.
“I’m deeply concerned by the call by the EFF for a national and in this case a provincial-wide shutdown. The theme that is following this call for a shutdown is one of violence and looting and that is absolutely unacceptable.”
“We cannot allow businesses not to open. We’ve got to make sure that we have SAPS and our law enforcement officers on site to protect others’ rights on the 20th and we will do so,” Winde said.
His party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has threatened legal steps against the shutdown.
🚨 Tomorrow, Tuesday 14 March, DA Leader, @jsteenhuisen will announce urgent legal steps against the EFF’s national shutdown, as well as a mechanism to empower SA citizens to hold any EFF member accountable for any and all damage inflicted upon public and private property. pic.twitter.com/mQ0CnarzI2
— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) March 13, 2023
Follow African Insider on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
For more African news, visit Africaninsider.com
Compiled by Betha Madhomu