/ 19 May 2020

SA’s right-wing Covid-19 lunacy must be challenged

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A general view of Long Street, usually one of the busiest and most popular entertainment areas with bars, clubs and restaurants in the city, with a billboard reading Stay Home, in Cape Town. (Rodger Bosch/AFP)


The right-wing teleology paraded by the Democratic Alliance and its partners of opening the economy to save jobs and the businesses instead of lives should be challenged and the right-wing’s propaganda machinery held accountable. The DA claims to be the best option for change and democracy in South Africa — but that is a joke. 

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 and the announcement of the nationwide lockdown, the political battle of ideas has become increasingly ideologically exposed. It is now quite clear that the right-wing fraternity composed of the DA, AfriForum, Solidarity and the Freedom Front Plus is an assembly chain of capitalist liberal pedagogy, or perhaps different detachments of the same army, which prioritise South Africa’s racist economy over the lives of the majority of the people.

This has always been the case. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the Freedom Front Plus and the DA in Parliament opposed the National Health Insurance scheme and amendments to Section 25 of the Constitution on the expropriation of land without compensation. At the same time, AfriForum attempted to mobilise international right-wing solidarity to oppose the constitutional amendments, including from the controversial United States secretary of state, Mike Pompeo. Many other examples could be provided on how different right-wing elements coordinate and co-operate on a variety of issues. 

Since the declaration of the Covid-19 global pandemic by the World Health Organisation, there has been a clear divide between left-wing and right-wing ideologues. This is perhaps obviously to be expected as the right-wing will always use the lens of the market to describe society and prioritise the economy over human lives while claiming to be doing it in the best interests of everyone.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) and trade union federation  Cosatu, joined by the ANC, correctly prioritised the lives of South African people over profit. Recently, the SACP and Cosatu called for further cut in the repo rate while the Young Communist League of South Africa has already initiated a discussion on a new economic model that is needed as a new growth path after the pandemic. 

The league further suggested introducing legislation for a six-hour working day instead of an eight-hour day to allow for more jobs in the labour market. 

The reality is that, despite right-wing panic and stagnation in the path of irrelevance, the public is not immune from the propaganda of the global capitalist lobby that seeks to compromise the lives of people. The global capitalist economy is on the brink of collapse and we face a looming global recession. The calls and aggression displayed by the DA cannot be aligned to the protests in Santiago, Chile, where the masses are calling for hunger alleviation and workers are displaying outright rebellion against wage cuts. 

The behaviour of the right-wing in South Africa is directly linked to the ideological lunacy in the US for its unequal economy to resume full-scale activities at the expense of lives. US President Donald Trump has compromised many lives by insisting on an early opening of the economy. Equally, the DA has neglected the struggling Western Cape, where many people are losing lives, and has focused instead on calling for the capitalist economy to be saved. 

The Democratic Alliance should be held accountable for directly contributing to the current state of the incompetent health system in the Western Cape by neglecting the reality of Covid-19 in the province in order to defend a capitalist economic agenda.

The collapsed health system in the province has finally revealed the reality that clean audits are not a reflection of practical service delivery to the people but rather about resource allocation. 

The DA, the liberal fraternity and the global capitalist network should accept that capitalism has no solutions for many of the challenges faced by humanity.