WATCH: NationalShutDown, Here’s what you need to know

A nationwide protest against recurring load shedding, a buckling economy and the resignation of President Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to take place on March 20, 2023.

While the Economic Freedom Fighters spearhead the campaign to protest against Eskom’s shabby output and poor leadership from government, other parties have issued support while Cape Town declares a no-nonsense zone.

Joined campaign

The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) has announced it will be joining the EFF in a nationwide protest which could bring the economy to a standstill.

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) confirmed it would shield employees against any victimization from employers on the day as their members participate in the protest on March 20, 2023.

SAFTU secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi said: “we will mobilize our own members to join the protest across the country, however, our participation has conditions which have been discussed with the EFF.

“SAFTU is not willing to just join a political party programme, we can’t do that we are an independent federation. We can only join a broad front of left formations working together to achieve a common goal of an effective national shutdown.”

Economic threat

Factories, small business airlines and PRASA have been issued with notice to close shop on the day in an effort to avoid looting during protest.

Thousands of EFF members have been mobilized throughout the country to not only gather support but to provide notice to the business sector.

The DA has written to Police Minister Bheki Cele highlighting the imminent threat posed to the economy including citizens.

“South Africa’s fragile economy cannot withstand a national shutdown which will cripple struggling small businesses and leave many more people unemployed,” the party said in a statement.

“The EFF’s dangerous and violent political tactics are an attack on the livelihoods of hard working, law abiding South Africans and are an attack on our democracy.”


The party wants assurance from the police minister’s desk against any threat of violence on the day and a clear stance from Cele on the planned protest.

“An EFF leader in Mpumalanga recently posted a picture of himself holding a fully automatic rifle with the following comment: “By all means necessary or possible we are ready”. The DA has brought this example of threatening rhetoric to the attention of Minister Cele so he cannot turn a blind eye to the imminent threat,” the DA said.

No nonsense Cape Town

The DA’s call for order, has been followed by Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis who warned the EFF and all parties participating in the proposed shutdown to not try it in the mother city.

Schools and parents are advised to stay home on the day, and Hill-Leewis says he will not allow that to happen in his metro.

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