Political parties cancel all meetings to combat the virus

Political parties have cancelled events scheduled to take place in March and April.
Political parties have cancelled events scheduled to take place in March and April.
Image: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

SA political parties are cancelling conferences and events due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The ANC, EFF, and DA  told DispatchLIVE on Monday that events scheduled for March and April had been cancelled.

In a broadcast to the nation following a meeting of the cabinet on Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that gatherings of more than 100 people would  be prohibited, as will celebrations of key national days.

DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi said the party had decided to postpone the party conference in Johannesburg scheduled for April 4 and 5.

“We will be postponing some of the events due to the coronavirus outbreak.”

The party's executive committee was expected to assess the situation and decide on the state of the elective conference scheduled for May, Malatsi said.

“Just like other organisations, we are following guidelines in line with what the president proposed on Sunday.”

The party will be tracking and closely monitoring the implementation of the president’s announcements.

ANC provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukaitobi said: “We are rescheduling all our mass meetings — branch general meetings, rallies and conferences, until we get advice from the command centre.”

The EFF on Monday issued a notice barring all public gatherings by their structures.

EFF Eastern Cape boss Yazini Tetyana confirmed the party had postponed its events in the wake of the pandemic.

In a statement the party said: “We direct all EFF structures to cancel all mass gatherings until or unless advised otherwise by the office of the secretary-general; please be guided accordingly.”

EFF national spokesperson Vuyani Pambo said the party had called for health interventions that prioritised the poor, and looked at solutions that were people-centred rather than profit orientated.

“SA must avoid large gatherings whether they be social, religious or otherwise. We urge government to avail resources for experts to conduct research that will assist in alleviating the consequences of the virus. We call for calm, patience and responsibility by all South Africans in this difficult time.”