COSATU Calls On Government To Provide Relief

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The new lockdown restrictions have forced many businesses to stop operating. The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has called on government to step in. 
Matthew Parks, COSATU's parliamentary coordinator, said government should provide relief to sectors that are unable to operate during adjusted level 4 restrictions. 
The following businesses are not allowed to operate under the new restrictions:

Gyms and fitness centres
Casinos
Taverns, shebeens and bars
Restaurants – except for off-site consumption 
Theatres and cinemas
Museums

Parks said government needs to give relief to these businesses, as they cannot be expected to not operate without receiving any financial support. 
"We have to give companies and workers some sort of relief to enable them to survive...The UIF has agreed recently to provide relief for vulnerable workers who can't work safely (for example those over 60 and those with comorbidities). We need to now provide relief again to the liquor industry, tourism, hospitality, sports, events sectors because we cannot condemn people to poverty." he said
Parks is confident that the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) should be able to provide financial relief to businesses, but he is also aware that the UIF "cannot carry the economy alone on its shoulders". 
He has called on banks and insurance industries to also step in to provide relief on loan payments for sectors affected by the lockdown.  
"Government originally only wanted to give R40 billion from the UIF into the economy. That has almost reached R70 billion because of our efforts. We've had to drag them kicking and screaming time and again and we'll continue to do that. We simply do not have a choice when workers are sent home with no wages, when companies which depend upon day to day trading to survive are told to close"
"Government has no choice, it's a fundamental moral obligation. If you restrict workers and companies from earning an income, you must give some support. Bear in mind that many of these sectors, even after they open up in a few weeks time or months time, will take months to recover." said Parks.
The current level 4 restrictions took effect on Monday 28 June and will be in effect for 2 weeks.

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