- The Democratic Alliance (DA) has questioned President Ramaphosa's statements about the Covid-19 vaccine
- The opposition party feels that the president was too vague in his timeline about when the vaccine will arrive
- Speaking on behalf of the party, John Steenhuisen gave suggestions to the government on how to shed more light on the procurement and distribution of the vaccine
The DA has questioned the contents of the recent 'family meeting' held by Ramaphosa on 11 January. In the meeting, the president promised a mass roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine.
DA leader John Steenhuisen has raised concerns about how the promised 20 million vaccines would be procured and distributed.
"Who is supplying them? When will they arrive? Where will the AU vaccines be coming from and how will they be divided up among countries? Why are we only hearing about the AU programme now for the first time? How exactly will the vaccines be rolled out?"
The DA has disputed Ramaphosa's statement that the government has been negotiating for vaccines for the past six months
"If Ramaphosa wants us to believe that, he needs to provide proof since either he is lying or the vaccine suppliers are."
The opposition party believes that the president "dropped the ball" regarding the acquisition of the vaccines.
"The only way to make it up to the country now is to implement an ambitious, honest, transparent acquisition and distribution strategy in which the private sector plays a central role."
The party has called on Ramaphosa's government to give clarity on the vaccine arrival and roll-out, pursue suppliers of the vaccines, allow private entities access to independently procure the vaccine and to give clarity on the Covax arrangement.
"It cannot be stressed enough: vaccines are the only light at the end of this dark and deadly tunnel. Herd immunity will only be reached when two thirds of SA’s population (about 40 million people) are no longer susceptible to the virus."
In similar news, Briefly.co.za reported that Dr Zweli Mkhize is being dragged to court by lobby group AfriForum and Solidarity over the decision to centralise the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines from global pharmaceutical companies.
The groups have expressed their mistrust of the South African government. They would prefer to source vaccines as private entities.
Earlier this month, Mkhize announced that government was in discussion with a few manufacturers of Covid-19 vaccines around the world. This was in a bid to ensure that at least 67% of the population got vaccinated.
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