SA society needs to be more aware of the 'inequality of equality' - Archbishop Thabo Makgoba

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Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.
Moritz Hager
  • Archbishop Thabo Makgoba says Covid-19 vaccines should not be used to benefit the few.
  • Vaccines, he said, should be for the public good - and not for profit. 
  • Makgoba was preaching at a Christmas Eve Mass, where he also spoke out against corruption. 

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has urged that, when Covid-19 vaccines arrive, they be used for public good and not for profit.

Makgoba was speaking at a Christmas Eve Mass at the St George's Cathedral in Cape Town on Thursday, where he condemned the corruption taking place amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

He said the story of the pandemic should be about the self-sacrifice and dedicated service to others, of nurses, doctors and other health workers, who have worked long hours, at great risk, to treat the sick - and of health scientists and civil servants, who worked tirelessly to protect people in finding new ways to fight the virus. 

Makgoba said: 

Sometimes, maybe more often than occasionally, it is easy to feel paralysed: there are so many places of apparently never-ending conflict. Corruption continues even when we have booted the corrupt from power; the government tolerates the leeches whose response to Covid-19 was overcharging, price gouging and financially raping our country and our neediest. And our society seems continually blind to what I call the "inequality of equality", the persistence of inequality, despite our proclaimed commitment to equality....

He said, this year, people should perhaps use Christmas to stop focusing on self-preservation and start giving instead of getting - not giving material gifts bought in an atmosphere of feverish consumerism, but rather giving hope and practical help to the elderly, the unemployed, the disabled and the marginalised.

Makgoba said efforts to stand up to corruption need to be intensified for it to be eradicated from political life.

He said politics that did not pay "lip service to the poor" was needed.

ALSO READ | Covax: Who will be the first in SA to get the vaccine

He said society must seize the moment to rethink its priorities, and consider the value of what it wants to achieve. 

"We need to think big, and commit to act on our dreams in our daily lives. We have already seen the benefit of thinking big, in the remarkably rapid development of Covid-19 vaccines.

"Now it is our moral duty to share our vaccine know-how in the world and to ensure the vaccines must be for the public good and not for profit," Makgoba said.

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