Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) condemns the warnings of violence and looting by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) against those businesses and South Africans who do not support its call for a national shutdown on 20 March 2023.
The right to protest is protected in our constitution, as long as it does not infringe on the constitutional rights of other South Africans. Looting, violence, incitement, and intimidation are criminal acts that are not protected by the Constitution and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The EFF warning of the looting of businesses, shops, factories, and other service providers – if they do not stop operations in support of the national shutdown – is a complete disregard for the constitutional rights of others. Law enforcement agencies must protect the rights of all South Africans.
On 20 March, the EFF must act responsibly, respect the constitutional rights of others, and conduct its protest within the law. Law enforcement agencies must ensure all protest action is peaceful and act decisively against any violence, intimidation, and unlawful disruption.
BUSA shares South Africans’ frustration with load-shedding, stagnant economic growth, unemployment, and the myriad social and economic problems brought about by government failure in several areas. But the disruption of the economy by a minority will further aggravate an already dire situation and threaten workplaces, household incomes, and increased hardship for all. South Africa needs united action to overcome its economic and social challenges, not threats of violence and intimidation in support of narrow political gains.
Business Unity SA CEO
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Tel: 011 784 8000/0766516444