COVID-19 Vaccine: President Announces Plan for Blind to Lead the Blind

Yesterday’s announcement by President Ramaphosa that an inter-ministerial task team on the vaccine rollout will be established under the leadership of Deputy President DD Mabuza is an admission that his government has no plans for the vaccine rollout.

This announcement comes on the same day as the shocking admission by Treasury that it is considering raising taxes to fund a vaccination program, increasing the ever-growing burden on South African tax payers.

It is critical to indicate that for government’s promise of a vaccine arriving at the end of this month to be realised, a vaccine plan and associated funding would need to have been in place already. The announcement of an inter-ministerial committee is a typical move of the ANC government when it panics; a safe room to which it can return when it has run out of ideas.

Mabuza has been responsible for chairing the task team to turnaround around ESKOM for the past 2 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.

Of great concern, is the lack of information about experts in the fields of finance, vaccinology, transport and logistics, operations and various other fields that would be invaluable to the work of such a task team.

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.

ActionSA believes that the best move government could make right now, is to appoint a team of the brightest minds in our country to spearhead the vaccination efforts and for politicians to stay out of the way.

With our economy in crisis and our healthcare system overwhelmed, we cannot afford the kind of incompetence and corruption in the vaccination effort as we have seen throughout government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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