Statement on the ACDP’s support for the phased reopening of schools

The ACDP has welcomed the fact that the Department of Basic Education (DBE), together with the Minister, Ms Angie Motshekga, have taken a phased approach (meaning that it will be incremental) to implement plans to reopen schools.

The reopening of schools will be done based on assessment, school by school, on their individual readiness. This will also be done in consultation with stakeholders – of which parents, teachers, and SGB’s, are the most important.

The ACDP further notes Minister Motshekga’s commitment that a school will only be opened if it meets all the individual readiness requirements. The ACDP will continue to perform in its role as public representatives to hold the DBE to account in that regard. We will be monitoring and reporting on the readiness of schools or the lack thereof. We will also engage with the DBE and bring to their attention where there are not satisfactory health and safety measures in place at schools (those which are opened from June).

The ACDP’S support for the phased reopening of schools is realistically based on the following facts:
· Schools provide protection and food security to children in our most vulnerable communities.

· More parents, who do not have the support available to them to have their children cared for, will be returning to work from June (considering that the easing of the lockdown to alert-level 3 will presumably take effect on 1 June 2020).

We wish to highlight that Minister Motshekga yesterday recognised the right of parents to home-school their children should they not deem it safe for them to return to school at this time. The ACDP encourages parents to utilise this right in choosing what is best for their children. We have consistently – over the years – called for the rights of parents to be recognised by the DBE when deciding how to best educate our children.

We, however, must note that not all South Africans have the option to home-school their children. The safety and wellbeing of our children is paramount in everything that we do. It is in this regard that we welcome the phased reopening of schools.

Covid-19 requires our faith and courage in the uncertain, unchartered territory. The landscape will be changing and challenging – our resolve will be tested. We ask for your prayer for the nation, and we also ask that you continue to engage with us.

We are aware that the systems globally are being shaken, and that from it will emerge a new way of doing things. We also firmly believe that the new will emerge through creative and active engagement.

#ACDPCovid19ReliefFund
#Covid_19SA
#LockdownSA

ACDP CALLS ON GOVT TO RETAIN NURSES BY PROVIDING THEM WITH OPPORTUNITIES

ACDP CALLS ON GOVT TO RETAIN NURSES BY PROVIDING THEM WITH OPPORTUNITIES

Today, 12 May 2020, the world celebrates International Day of Nurses.

The purpose of this day is to celebrate the achievements and continued sacrifice and contributions of great men and women – the unsung heroes in our medical fraternity.

The appreciation for the role that nurse’s play is not always as forthcoming as it is in the case with medical doctors. However, our nurses are central to the wellbeing of our people, and contribute immensely in building strong and healthy communities in all of South Africa.

A prosperous nation puts the advancement of core medical staff, such as nurses, at the forefront of its development programmes. This pandemic has shown that it is imperative that we make strides to retain our nurses. We can do so if we pay them properly, and also afford them access to free education opportunities that would allow them to advance their skills and careers.

The ACDP is disappointed that many capable and hardworking nurses that work in our government healthcare facilities, who are employed by agencies, have had their contracts suspended, and are sitting at home as a result of the lockdown. This, while government has forked out some R400 million to import Cuban doctors. Where government can, it must seek to permanently employ these nurses. R400m would have gone a long way in permanently employing South African nurses and doctors who have the necessary qualifications and experience but are unemployed.

Even with the arrival of the Cuban health workers, nurses who are permanently employed by government are not coping with the added pressure this health pandemic has brought to our shores. This is a gap that could have been filled by permanently employing nurses, who are in the employ of agencies, who work in government healthcare facilities on a contractual basis.

The ACDP salutes our unsung heroes: the men and women who keep things going under the most difficult circumstances. We also extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of those courageous health workers who have battled on the frontlines throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and who sadly contracted the virus and have fallen while saving lives.

Here’s to the front-liners who keep marching forward!

#ACDPCovid19ReliefFund
#Covid_19SA
#LockdownSA

ACDP calls for immediate lifting of lockdown restrictions*

ACDP calls for immediate lifting of lockdown restrictions*

The African Christian Democratic Party calls for the immediate lifting of the lockdown restrictions on all sectors of our economy, while ensuring that strict hygiene conditions are in place.

We are of the view that the South African economy is facing one of its worst storms ever. Prior to taking the reins from his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, it was President Cyril Ramaphosa himself, who lamented over the nine wasted years under the presidency of Zuma. The estimates are that those wasted years have cost the South African economy in excess of R1 trillion. Put into perspective, that is some 20% of our GDP and about 70% of our National Budget.

Many dreamed of a New Dawn, which until now has failed to materialize. Our unemployment rate is among the highest in the world, and we have the unenviable title of being the most unequal nation in the world, with a Gini coefficient in excess of 0.6, and rating agencies having downgraded our economy to junk status. It must be said that under the ruling party, poverty, inequality and unemployment have continued to grow.

The wounds inflicted on our economy up until this stage was self-inflicted, where megalomaniacs plundered, raped and pillaged our fiscus with impunity. Now, to add insult to injury we have been inflicted with a Covid-19 pandemic that has brought the global economy to a virtual standstill.

Economists predict that our economy could shrink by between 5-10%, our debt to GDP could grow from 60% to 80% in 2020, and the 6% deficit on our National Budget is set to increase to 12% of GDP. Additionally, a further 1 million workers could be added to the ranks of the unemployed, taking our unemployment rate of 38%, on the expanded definition, to beyond 50% after lockdown. Furthermore, the South African Employers Association indicated that of the businesses surveyed in South Africa, 68% said they would survive a 3 week lockdown but only 28% said they would survive beyond one month.

The ACDP believes that it is time to unlock our economy and remove the onerous restrictions imposed on it. According to South African actuaries, if the lockdown is not removed soon, the mortality rate as a consequence of unemployment, malnutrition and hunger, will be 29 times worse than Covid-19 itself.

The ACDP is on record for saying, as early as 13 April 2020, that if due attention is not given to our economy the consequences will make the Covid-19 pandemic look like a Sunday picnic. Hence, we now call for the immediate lifting of restrictions on all sectors of the economy, while simultaneously calling for these sectors to adhere to strict health protocols, to limit the spread of Covid-19.

The ACDP believes that our focus should be to protect those that are most vulnerable to Covid-19 such as the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions, while applying a zonal or area-specific approach to restrictions, rather than mutilating our entire economy.

#ACDPCovid19ReliefFund
#Covid_19SA
#LockdownSA

ACDP Condemns Gross Abuse Meted Out To Africans In China – urges govt summon Chinese Ambassador

ACDP Condemns Gross Abuse Meted Out To Africans In China – urges govt summon Chinese Ambassador

ATTENTION NEWS EDITOR

PRESS RELEASE
African Christian Democratic Party,
Parliament.
16th April 2020

ACDP CONDEMNS GROSS ABUSE METED OUT
TO AFRICANS IN CHINA

* URGES GOVT TO SUMMON CHINESE AMBASSADOR
TO ACCOUNT FOR VIOLATIONS.

Statement by Bongani Luthuli, ACDP NEC member.

“The ACDP expresses is utmost condemnation and regret at the reported discrimination and gross violations of human rights of Africans in the Chinese Province of Guangzhou.

It is now accepted that the reports are true and have since been corroborated by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, who conceded that there was discrimination against Africans in the province due to the Coronavirus epidemic. Despite this confession, the spokesperson went on to blame the US on these reports being perpetuated.

The ACDP views this statement as problematic and concerning as it demonstrates how little China cares about the African continent. Instead of genuinely apologizing for the discrimination, it plays to the international gallery by attributing the spread of the reports to its opposite number in the global stage.

McDonalds China has also confirmed that its stores have refused to serve African black customers.

We do not know what informs the discrimination of black people given that the Coronavirus broke out in China and not in Africa.

The ACDP calls on the South African government to join other African countries by summoning the Chinese Ambassador to South Africa to account to us about these violations. Although some South Africans were repatriated from China, we still have a large number of our nationals in that country.

We understand that the ANC led government has strong ties with China, which played a significant part in the addition of South Africa to BRICS, we however implore our government to put aside its narrow interests and put South Africa and its people first.

Since South Africa also holds the African Union chairmanship, we implore that our government takes strong measures and a stance that will serve as a lodestar to the continent in the fight against discrimination and violations of the rights of our people.”

Bongani Luthuli
ACDP NEC

ACDP statement on COVID 19 test results of Rev Kenneth Meshoe and Steve Swart MP

African Christian Democratic Party

27 March 2020

ACDP Parliament

Media Statement

Wayne Thring MP, ACDP Deputy President

ACDP statement on COVID 19 test results of party leader, Rev Kenneth Meshoe and Steve Swart MP

It is now common knowledge that the President of the African Christian Democratic Party, Rev Kenneth Meshoe MP and Mr Steve Swart MP, were present at the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast held on 10 and 11 March 2020 at the Divine Restoration Ministries in Ribblesdale, Bloemfontein. This prayer breakfast took place before the “100 people gathering limit” pronounced on 16 March 2020.

Five visitors at the breakfast, two from the USA, two from Israel and one from France, started to feel unwell over the weekend of 14-15 March and had Coronavirus tests done around 16-17 March. The results of these tests were made known on 19-20 March, with the five visitors testing positive for COVID-19.

It must be mentioned that during this period, Rev Meshoe, who displayed no symptoms of the virus, was not aware of the health status of the visitors at the Prayer Breakfast (who had also passed through airport screenings), and hence attended the briefing of political party leaders, on 18 March, hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa at Parliament.

The ACDP President was only subsequently informed about the results of the visitors’ tests on 20 March.

He immediately went into self containment and made himself available for testing, where he was tested by the Health Department on Sunday, 22 March. Mr Steve Swart, who had experienced mild flu-like symptoms had also self-isolated and had his test done on Monday 23 March.

Regrettably, many media houses reported that both Rev Meshoe and Mr Swart had tested positive – before they had even both been tested. This contradicts the media ethics code and caused much trauma to their families and colleagues. The press has the responsibility to disseminate information that is true, factual and accurate.

The ACDP can, however, now confirm that both Rev Kenneth Meshoe and Mr Steve Swart have tested positive for the Coronavirus.

Rev Meshoe displays no symptoms and remains in good health. Mr Swart, who has experienced mild flu-like symptoms, is recovering well. Both have been self-isolating, together with their close families.

It is unfortunate that Rev Meshoe had to wait five days for the outcome of his test, and had to call the Health Department numerous times for the outcome. This has placed unnecessary stress on him, and his family, and has also resulted in unwarranted speculation in the media. Nonetheless, the ACDP wishes to thank the medical staff in both the public and private spheres who attended to Rev Meshoe and Mr Swart, and indeed all other medical staff who are on the frontline of the battle against this pandemic. We are deeply grateful to them and pray for their protection.

In addition, Rev Meshoe is also grateful to President Ramaphosa for the gracious manner in dealing with his meeting with Rev Meshoe. The ACDP can confirm that the President of South Africa has spoken to Rev Meshoe and has given his support to the Meshoe family. We are pleased that President Ramaphosa has tested negative.

Lastly, the ACDP wishes to convey its condolences and prayers to the two families who have recently lost loved ones after becoming infected with the virus. Our hope and trust is in our God and with Him, we are able to overcome all things, including this COVID-19 pandemic.

Response to 21 Day Lockdown by President Cyril Ramaphosa

Response to 21 Day Lockdown by President Cyril Ramaphosa

As the nation waited with bated breath, the African Christian Democratic Party, (ACDP) welcomes with some concern, the pronouncement by President Cyril Ramaphosa to place the nation on a 21 day lockdown, effective Thursday, 26 March 2020.

With the current number of infections dramatically increasing to 402 in the last week, defeating this epidemic requires the buy-in and leadership of all South Africans.

Our economy is already in a precarious position. We are in a technical recession, and the last rating agency, Moody’s may have no option but to downgrade SA to Junk status.

This lockdown will certainly have lasting implications on our fragile economy. In the light of this, the ACDP welcomes the speedy prosecution of those who would seek to profiteer from this crisis.

The ACDP also welcomes the attempt by President Ramaphosa to consult all stakeholders on a way forward to help curb the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

It is the belief of the ACDP that religious organizations, civil society and community organisations must be engaged at a greater level of intensity, on the implementation of the lock down interventions. The majority of these organisations represent the poor, the economically and socially marginalized, and the setting of plans and regulations that do not include these voices could be detrimental for the country.

Many have called for a total lock down of the country, but with 17 million South Africans surviving on less than R3500 a month, and living in cramped spaces, it is this vulnerable group that are most at risk. These families live hand to mouth, relying on the meagre incomes for food and other necessities.

The majority of South Africans are poor, and this is a reality the government cannot shy away from.

The ACDP salutes those financial institutions and other big businesses that have already released plans to help small business owners over the next three months. This assistance also needs to be extended to poor households.

For retail, factory and informal traders, every hour at work is important. A 21 day shut down would mean that millions may go without pay, on the ‘no-work, no-pay’ principle.

The ACDP therefore welcomes the steps announced to alleviate the economic impact on individuals and businesses, and await full details as to how access to this assistance will be fast tracked.

We support the President’s plea to Companies to avoid retrenching workers, as far as is possible, and to access support that will be made available.

The ACDP called for the following interventions, some of which was covered by the President in his address:

• A freeze on UIF payments and a utilization of these funds to assist small business. An extension of the payment period of business loans. No penalties for late SARS submissions.

• 50% Increase of social grants over the next three months

• 50% cut on electricity and water bills for the next three months, which will not be added to bills after the state of disaster is lifted

• Community clinics to be prioritized with free Covid-19 testing equipment and training of staff and community-based primary health care workers.

• Identification of additional local buildings/institutions that can used as temporary hospitals should the needs arise

• Ensure that proper sanitation and water is provided to all communities

The ACDP continues to call for communities, churches and South Africans at large to pray and to stand together in our fight against the virus, Covid-19.

As a nation we have faced many challenges, and as we face this pandemic, we can defeat it and come out stronger.

LETTER TO MEMBERS – CORONA VIRUS UPDATE

LETTER TO MEMBERS – CORONA VIRUS UPDATE

From Kenneth Meshoe .MP
ACDP President

17 March 2020

Dear ACDP friends

Greetings in the blessed name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

We are definitely living in extraordinary times. At the time of writing this, more than 185,000 people across the world have been infected with the Coronavirus (Covid-19), and the number of deaths is increasing by the day. Many flights have been cancelled, some businesses shut down and schools and universities closed.

Tomorrow, President Ramaphosa will be meeting with me and other political party leaders to discuss interventions to combat Covid-19 following his declaration of a national state of disaster on Sunday 15 March 2020. I will update you with any relevant feedback from this meeting in due course.

DON’T PANIC

Remember that Job 3:25 says, “What I feared has come upon me, what I dreaded has happened to me.” Allowing yourself to become stressed and fearful will put you at a greater risk of becoming ill.

LET THE PRINCE OF PEACE BE YOUR ANCHOR

As Christians we should remember that God’s Word promises protection to all those who trust in the Lord, including in times when we face pandemics such as we have today. There is no reason to fear this crisis. When panic or fear tries to grip your heart or those around you, here are a few scriptures to remember and feed your spirit on:

God is our refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1, Psalm 62:8)
God is our strong tower (Proverbs 18:10, Psalm 61:3)
God is our rock, strength, refuge and shield (Psalm 18:2, Psalm 37:39, Psalm 144:2)
God is our shield (Psalm 3:3, Psalm 7:10, Psalm 33:20)

In addition to the abovementioned scriptures, take time to meditate on Psalm 91 each day.

PRACTICE EVERYDAY PREVENTATIVE BEHAVIOURS

Remember that faith without works is dead. Our hope, confidence and trust are in the Lord Jesus Christ, yet we also have a responsibility to act wisely and practically.

To avoid infection, we should – in addition to fervent prayer that availeth much – do all we can to strengthen our immune systems, because that is our body’s main defense against infection and illness. A strong and healthy immune system will go a long way to fight this virus.

Below are a few additional preventative tips we should observe if we want to remain healthy.

• Wash your hands with soap thoroughly and frequently.
• Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
• Stay home if you are sick.
• Sleep well. Inadequate or poor quality sleep can increase your chances of catching a virus by up to five times. Make sure you give yourself the opportunity to get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep every night.
• Exercise – but not to excess.
• Eat well. Ditch the junk food and rather focus on eating a variety of whole foods, ensuring that you include plant foods that are colourful, and rich in antioxidants and micronutrients.
• Use supplements such as vitamins C, D and Zinc. Probiotics are also very important to add to your daily intake of vitamins.

May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you.

Yours in Christ,
REV KENNETH MESHOE MP
ACDP President

SONA2020 Good and Bad

SONA2020 Good and Bad

African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader, Reverend Kenneth Meshoe has said that the most significant pronouncement in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday was the procurement of energy by municipalities.

“The most important thing that we appreciated that came from the president’s speech tonight was for him to say municipalities that are doing well with their finances, will be allowed to procure power directly from independent power producers (IPPs).

“We know that IPPs have not been given the right to sell directly to municipalities, so we believe that is one of the best things he said tonight. There was an applause from both sides of the house, because we all welcomed that,” said Meshoe, in reference to the governing party’s MPs and opposition MPs.
He said that although Ramaphosa said “many things” on how he would improve the stagnant economy, “details were not given”.

However, given that the president was “so specific” on the procurement of power, Meshoe said, he hoped that it would become a reality within the next few months.

He said Ramaphosa should have mentioned more about the country’s crime problem, which inhibited investors. Violent service delivery protests were chasing away tourists and investors and had to be addressed, he added.

“This is a concern to the ACDP because we want stability in the country and policy certainty.”

“In general, [Ramaphosa] has done much better than we had expected tonight,” said Meshoe.

African News Agency/ANA

https://www.iol.co.za/…/procurement-of-power-by-municipalit…