- Deputy President David Mabuza was recently appointed as the head of the task team leading Covid-19 vaccine rollouts
- This government inter-ministerial team will be charged with managing how the critical medication is distributed
- However, Herman Mashaba has voiced his lack of confidence over Mabuza's ability to lead the project
Deputy President David Mabuza's appointment as the head of the government's inter-ministerial task team for Covid-19 vaccine rollouts has been announced.
This news has been met, to put it lightly, with mixed reviews as Mabuza's ability to lead this crucial team is called into question.
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has issued a statement on this development, slamming it as a plan for the 'blind to lead the blind'.
Mashaba also feels that this is indication enough that the government simply has no plans as far as the distribution of the vaccine is concerned:
“Mabuza has been responsible for chairing the task team to turnaround around Eskom for the past two years. The announcement of his leadership on the vaccine rollout, while South Africans look set to deal with months of load shedding, does not inspire confidence."
Mashaba expressed his heightened concern over the lack of information over the experts appointed to the team.
With many in fields unrelated to health, the ActionSA leader questioned how their input would contribute to the task at hand.
Mashaba also addressed claims that the government had snubbed negotiations with Pfizer to procure the vaccine:
“The news reported by News24 this morning, that leaked communications from Pfizer have demonstrated our government’s indecisiveness around vaccine procurement as far back as June last year, demonstrate how we have been lied to as a nation."
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that a report has detailed how Pfizer had attempted for an extended period of time to open negotiations with the South African government.
The pharmaceutical giant had allegedly attempted for months to unsuccessfully enter into discussions over the Covid-19 vaccine.
This controversial situation was exposed after a phone conversation with a top official at the entity was leaked.
News24 reported that the government had opted to begin negotiations only when panic over procurement kicked in.
The employee claims that, by the time the South African government opted to finally come to the table, it had already been too late.
Speaking to CapeTalkFM's Lester Kiewit, journalist Kyle Cowan detailed how the Department of Health claimed that it was hesitant to make financial commitments despite the urgency to begin rolling out vaccines.
Cowan commented that it had been a struggle deciding whether or not to name the source, due to the possible complications that could arise:
"We struggled whether we should name the person… but naming this person would put them in a difficult position with her or his employer… We verified the authenticity of the recording and conversation… it is indeed a Pfizer employee…"
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