Mabuza's appointment to lead ministerial committee on vaccines 'nothing more than ANC internal politics' - DA

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David Mabuza  (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Theana Breugem)
David Mabuza (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Theana Breugem)
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the establishment of the inter-ministerial committee on Covid-19 vaccination.
  • The team of ministers will be chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza.
  • The DA contends that Mabuza's appointment has nothing to do with the interests of South Africans, but is rather just part of the ANC's internal politics. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Deputy President David Mabuza as the chairperson of the inter-ministerial committee (IMC) on Covid-19 vaccination, which the DA contends is "nothing more than ANC factional battles playing itself out".

Ramaphosa first made the announcement on the establishment of the IMC at a meeting of the ANC's Progressive Business Forum on Tuesday, before any official word from the government on the matter.

By Tuesday afternoon, the government released a statement about a special virtual meeting held by Cabinet, which approved the setting up of the IMC.

Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams said the IMC would assist with "the quick decision-making from all the relevant departments that contribute towards the smooth roll-out of the vaccination programme".

The roll-out programme will also entail procurement, distribution, actual vaccination, monitoring, communication and mobilisation.

"The IMC, to be chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza, will meet weekly to receive reports and intervene in unlocking any challenges that may be encountered during the implementation.

"President Cyril Ramaphosa will chair its first inaugural meeting," Williams added.

Members of the IMC

  • Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize
  • Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni
  • Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
  • Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jackson Mthembu
  • Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
  • Minister of Police, Bheki Cele
  • Minister of State Security, Ayanda Dlodlo
  • Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande
  • Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan
  • Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi
  • Minister of Public Service and Administration, Senzo Mchunu
  • Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel
  • Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu
  • Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor.

Mabuza is not the right man for the job

The DA criticised Ramaphosa for appointing Mabuza to chair the IMC, which will be integral to the vaccine roll-out once the doses become available in South Africa.

"We do not believe that Deputy President Mabuza is a competent and reliable figure to oversee this process as he has a history of failure in governance," the DA's Siviwe Gwarube said in a statement.

"As premier of Mpumalanga, Mabuza ran the province like his own personal fiefdom, where corruption, political violence and the complete collapse of the state is still a lasting legacy in the province.

"He currently serves as the chairperson of the Political Task Team on Eskom, a position in which has failed dismally. South Africa is nowhere close to energy security since Mabuza has been brought on board. In fact, we have been plunged further into darkness.

"Mabuza has effectively been an absentee deputy president since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. While South Africans were looking to the government to show leadership, Mabuza has been in hiding for the past 10 months."

READ | 'Where is DD Mabuza?' Sick-again deputy president cannot answer questions in Parliament

The DA believed it was unconscionable that Ramaphosa would entrust one of the most monumental tasks of South Africa's democratic dispensation in the hands of Mabuza.

"The fact that the president has made this move proves that South Africa's Covid vaccine plan is now no longer about saving lives.

"It is about his political alliances within the ANC.

"This is evidenced by the fact that the president made this announcement via Zoom during the ANC's Progressive Business Forum, as opposed to an announcement via the appropriate government channels in his capacity as the head of state."

Gwarube added that it was unclear why Ramaphosa would choose Mabuza, as he has not done "an iota of work on this crisis. This is nothing more than ANC factional battles playing itself out".

Downward trend of Covid-19 infections

Meanwhile, the Cabinet also discussed the progress report from the National Coronavirus Command Council. It was briefed on the rate of infections in the country and the surveillance work being conducted by the Department of Health, supported by the Ministerial Advisory Committee.

"Though still early, Cabinet appreciated the downward trend of infections across the provinces, with the exception of the Free State and Northern Cape," Williams said.

"Cabinet thanks all South Africans who continue to play their part by adhering to the health protocols adopted to minimise infections, such as wearing masks at all times when in public, maintaining social distancing, washing their hands at all times with water and soap or using an alcohol-based sanitiser and avoiding gatherings."

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