- Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi was vaccinated at Rabasotho Community Centre in Tembisa.
- The education sector will be vaccinated within 10 days
- Lesufi said that there were a few glitches at some vaccination sites.
It was a full-circle moment for Noka Letsoalo when one of his former pupils vaccinated him against Covid-19 on the first day of the vaccination rollout for teachers on Wednesday.
Letsoalo was among the teachers who were vaccinated at Rabasotho Community Centre in Tembisa on Wednesday, along with the Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, as part of the education department's plan to vaccinate teachers and school personnel in 10 days.
When Letsoalo sat down to get the jab, he was greeted by a familiar face and said: "I am going to get jabbed by my student."
The nurse who administered the vaccine was one of his pupils in the early 2000s. He told News24:
Siphosethu Banya, a teacher at Masiqhakaze secondary school, said that her school would go to the vaccination site in two groups.
"Finally, there is that bit of protection there. We know it's not 100%, but at least there is something. It was scary, but when you are an educator, you know you have to be there. Especially with what happened last year. We missed a lot," Banya said.
Bathabile Shabangu from Mehlareng Combined Farm School overcame her fear of getting the jab and urged other educators to do the same.
"They must not be afraid, and they must come and get the vaccine so we can all be okay. Working without a vaccine was scary because we didn't know what was going to happen. But God protected us up until we got here today," Shabangu said.
Meanwhile, Lesufi said vaccinations in most of the cities went ahead without any glitches.
"There have been teething problems here and there. In Roodepoort, we were told that since the opening of the vaccination this morning, there is a burst water pipe, and therefore, the team is trying to find alternative mechanisms," he said. He added that the wrong vaccine was delivered in the south but said the situation was being rectified.
Lesufi acknowledged Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, who was also present, for ensuring that the education sector was next in line for vaccinations.
"I am feeling well after taking the vaccine, obviously with mixed emotions - one being that finally, we got this going on. But the regret part of it is that we have lost a lot of time in the education sector. If we had this earlier, we would have recovered the future of our children. We can't risk having a generation that misses school. We can't risk having a generation that will not be given the necessary support that they need."
"We must vaccinate our staff in the allocated time so we can hand over the baton. As the education sector, we must not be seen to be greedy and delay," Lesufi said.
Also present was Deputy Health Minister Joe Phaahla, who said that the country was expecting an additional 700 000 J&J vaccines in the upcoming days.