Citizen Reporter
4 minute read
12 Mar 2020
12:11 pm

‘Stop being so evil,’ says Ndlozi as Limpopo residents protest against quarantine centre

Citizen Reporter

Police have already started arriving at the venue that will house South Africans returning from China on Friday.

Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

Economic Freedom Fighters MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says South Africans should stop being “evil”, and allow their fellow citizens to come home in peace.

Limpopo residents have taken to social media to voice their frustration at the announcement that evacuees from China would be quarantined at The Ranch Hotel near Polokwane.

The establishment was identified following a breakdown of talks over the initial quarantine point, which was in the Free State.

Paul Shearer, the general manager of The Ranch Resort, confirmed to the Polokwane Review that the establishment was identified as the quarantine proximity point.

He did, however, stress that the location would be used for quarantine purposes, and not for patients who needed to be in isolation.

“We will be a quarantine facility where the patients will be observed for 21 days. The Ranch, however, is not a facility for infected patients. Those of which [who have] the slightest possibility of having contracted the virus, will be accommodated elsewhere.”

This despite President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plea on South Africans to welcome their fellow citizens back home, assuring that none of the citizens were showing Covid-19 virus symptoms.

In a statement on Tuesday, government said it was ready to repatriate 122 South Africans from the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China.

The repatriation was ordered by Ramaphosa at the end of February.

Acting government spokesperson for the interministerial task team handling the Covid-19 outbreak in South Africa Phumla Williams said government initially received more than 180 requests from South Africans in Wuhan to be repatriated to South Africa, but more than 60 of them subsequently changed their minds and decided to remain in China.

The repatriated citizens would be quarantined in South Africa for an initial period of 21 days, which could be extended should any person display symptoms of Covid-19 at the identified site.

“We reiterate that no South Africans returning home are showing any symptoms of the Covid-19 virus. At the appropriate time, the quarantine site will be announced and the details of the site management plan will be shared with members of the public and the media.”

After the three weeks, those individuals who are cleared will be reintegrated into their communities and reunited with their families.

“We urge the South Africans to welcome these fellow citizens with warm hands as they begin to rebuild their lives in the country after what has been a very trying time for most repatriates,” added Williams.

Also read: No quarantine centre in Limpopo, ANCYL insists, threatening action

But Limpopo residents, including the ANC Youth League in the province, have taken issue with the returning citizens being quarantined in the province.

The ANCYL in Peter Mokaba said it had engaged with the management of The Ranch Hotel to find “common ground” on the matter.

“Our bone of contention as the ANCYL in Peter Mokaba is that ‘the first site which was identified is the Free State, and now that the Free State has reneged, Limpopo Province was seen to be a ‘low hanging fruit’ to play host to the patients.

“While acknowledging the work done by government of educating the people of South Africa about coronavirus, we are worried about the socio-economic conditions that the majority of our people find themselves in. For example, if one of the employees at The Ranch were to contract the virus, they would transmit it to the multitudes of people that they interact with, in the public transport, their homes and other places where black people socialise.

“It is the view of the ANCYL in Peter Mokaba that having Limpopo as a quarantine facility, would send shock waves in our communities, and is likely to give a bad publicity to the vulnerable tourism economy of the province.”

The league suggested that every province have its own quarantine facility.

“If the department and the hotel decides to be arrogant and continue with this arrangement of putting the lives of our people in danger, the ANCYL would do everything to disturb this arrangement, and organise a ‘mother of all marches’, and close it down.”

The Provincial Working Committee will have a meeting with the Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize, Deputy Minister Dr Joe Phaahla and the deputy secretary-general of the ANC Jessie Duarte and release a “detailed” statement about the outcomes of the meeting.

These were some of the reactions on social media:

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