THE Democratic Alliance has threatened to take President Cyril Ramaphosa to court over government’s COVID-19 vaccine roll out strategy.
DA leader John Steenhuisen said there’s not one single COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa yet, while other countries have already vaccinated millions of their citizens.
He said the national government’s failure to provide one or more COVID-19 vaccines timeously when these vaccines are available was a violation of people’s rights, in terms of Section 27(1) of the Constitution, to have access to healthcare services.
“We don’t have them because when every other country was phoning and meeting and negotiating with suppliers as far back as May last year; our government put all its eggs in the WHO Covax basket where we could barely secure enough vaccines for 10 per cent of our people and then they did nothing until just the other day,” said Steenhuisen on Monday.
Steenhuisen said the DA has written to President Ramaphosa, giving him seven days to explain why, in his view, government has not infringed on these constitutional provisions.
“If he fails to do so, the DA will take further legal action, as is our constitutional duty,” said Steenhuisen.
Earlier this month, Ramaphosa announced government had secured 20-million vaccine doses – at least one-million of which are expected on South African shores before month end.
But some details on the procurement strategy remain sketchy.
Writing in his weekly column this week, Ramaphosa said getting enough vaccines as quickly as possible was one of the biggest challenges of his administration this year.
“This will be particularly challenging as every country in the world is clamouring to secure a limited supply of vaccines. But we are hard at work with partners in business, labour and civil society to make this happen,” said Ramaphosa.
“We are working on several fronts to get vaccines, including through the global COVAX facility, the African Union initiative and through our own engagements with vaccine manufacturers.”
(SOURCE: INSIDE POLITICS)