Coronavirus: EFF talks rent, payment holidays in economic plan

Coronavirus: EFF talks rent, payment holidays in economic plan

- The effects of the coronavirus outbreak have raised serious concerns about the health of South Africa's already struggling economy

- The Economic Freedom Fighters have released their plan to help manage the challenges ahead

- explores the suggested measures the EFF would like to see implemented

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The Economic Freedom Fighters have weighed in on the economic challenges that will surely come from the massive change in consumer behaviour in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement released on Monday, the party called for all South African banks to initiate a payment holiday for clients with home loans, car loans, credit cards and other debt like personal and student loans.

The EFF warned banks not to retrench workers during this payment holiday, which it felt should last for at least four months.

In addition to this, the party called for all workers earning below R15 000 to be paid a once-off grant:

"Government must pay all workers who earn below R15 000 a once-off grant of R3 500 for food and hygiene essentials."

Evictions should be put on hold for the time being, with the EFF calling on the government to suspend rent payments:

"Government must prohibit all evictions whether they be of occupied land or tenant residence, and all rental payments must be suspended."

Service providers like Multichoice, Vodacom, MTN and others were called on to suspend service fees, including debit orders, for four months.

When it comes to water and electricity payments, the EFF called for an extension of payment periods:

"All municipalities should extend the period of payment of property rates, water and electricity by 30 additional working days, and no municipality or Eskom should be allowed to disconnect services."

The state was called up to implement price guidelines for basic food items such as bread, vegetables and fruit as well as soap and sanitisers.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Mkhize confirms 402 cases, first for Northern Cape

Cellular network providers were urged to provide free data and call minutes to customers while SARS was encouraged to pay all outstanding refunds within the next week.

The government was urged to provide tax rebates and grants for smaller businesses to cover salaries on the condition that no retrenchments take place.

State-owned entities, departments and municipalities were told by the EFF to pay all outstanding invoices promptly while at the same time implementing measures to avoid corruption taking place.

Mzansi artists were also covered by this economic plan, with the EFF calling for a relief fund to help those who have had to cancel events. reported that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 402 on Monday.

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