A deal with the devil, says DA on Mabuza's appointment to oversee vaccine rollout

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President Cyril Ramaphosa with Deputy President David Mabuza. (GCIS)
President Cyril Ramaphosa with Deputy President David Mabuza. (GCIS)
  • The DA has described Deputy President David Mabuza chairing an inter-ministerial committee to oversee the country's Covid-19 vaccine rollout is a deal with the devil.
  • ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has called on government to establish a team led by experts, not politicians.
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the establishment of the committee on Tuesday.

A deal with the devil.

That is how some politicians responded to the news that Deputy President David Mabuza will lead an inter-ministerial committee that will oversee South Africa's Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the establishment of an inter-ministerial committee to be led by Mabuza.

Ramaphosa announced this at a Zoom meeting of the ANC's Progressive Business Forum on Tuesday.

READ | Pfizer leak: SA health officials didn't respond to requests for 'months and months' to talk about Covid-19 vaccine

DA MP and national spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube said Ramaphosa had dropped the ball again.

"The president has made a deal with the devil when he appointed Mabuza as the head of the inter-ministerial committee to oversee the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine. The president made this announcement during an ANC meeting, not even a normal government communication channel. This is a man, David Mabuza, who destroyed Mpumalanga when he was the premier. He wrecked Eskom, leaving the country in the dark and has been completely absent throughout this entire crisis," she said.

"Mabuza may have been social distancing in Russia all this time, for all we know," she added.

South Africa is expecting one million Covid-19 vaccine doses from the Serum Institute of India (SII) this month. Another 500 000 doses are expected next month.

The SII is the manufacturer of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine.

First to receive the vaccine will be the country's 1.25 million frontline healthcare workers in public and private facilities.

Government's vaccine rollout has been planned around 6 300 full-time vaccinators.

It will target 40 million people over a 12-month period (to be given in two doses).

READ ALSO | Coronavirus: How the 501Y.V2 variant was able to quickly dominate infections

It's estimated there would be 316 000 vaccinations per day, with each vaccinator administering a dose to 50 people per day.

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said Ramaphosa's announcement is a plan for the blind to lead the blind.

"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 turn 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 loadshedding, does not inspire confidence," Mashaba said.

He said government's best bet is to appoint a team of the brightest minds in the country to spearhead the vaccination efforts and for "politicians to stay out of the way".

News24 is seeking comment from Mabuza's office. It will be added once received.


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