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Sarb must play bigger role in making money available to govt – Malema

The EFF leader said the country should exhaust all avenues to try and rescue the current economic crisis from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic before asking the IMF and World Bank for assistance.

FILE: Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema during a media briefing at Narec, Johannesburg on 21 November 2019. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema on Monday said that government should use its own reserves and prioritise funds from non-essential budgets to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Malema, in his Freedom Day address, said the country should exhaust all avenues to try and rescue the current economic crisis from the effects of the pandemic before asking the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank for assistance.

He said the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) needed to play a bigger role in making money available to government and the broader economy.

“Let us investigate the foreign exchange reserves held by the Sarb. Let us have an open debate on whether the Reserve Bank cannot use further instruments other than interest rates to allow more money into the economy and the National Revenue Fund,” he said.

HEALTH AND SAFETY OF WORKERS

Meanwhile, Malema called for companies that would be reopening from Friday to pay a fine of R5 million to the families of every employee that died after contracting coronavirus.

The EFF believed government’s decision to ease parts of the lockdown regulations to allow for some economic activity was senseless and reckless.

Malema said companies should be held directly accountable for the health and safety of workers.

“Each and every company that re-opens during this period must be directly held accountable for the health and safety of the workers and we as the EFF will make sure that no life is lost due to rushed and senseless re-opening of the economy,” he said.

At least 1.5 million employees would be going back to their workstations from Friday.

WATCH: Julius Malema delivers Freedom Day message