Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
3 minute read
17 Mar 2021
2:05 pm

South Africa’s fight against hoarding and profiteering from vaccines

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

South Africa is in a position to lead the fight for faster and cheaper global access to vital Covid-19 vaccines and medicine.

A GSK employee at work on a production line at the factory of British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline in Wavre where the Covid-19 CureVac vaccine will be produced. Picture: Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP

Can South Africa use activism to fight for affordable and accessible Covid-19 vaccines and treatments like it fought for HIV/Aids treatment over a decade ago? According to two analysts with very opposing views on how this fight can be won, this is exactly what is needed. Economist Patrick Bond has accused the government of partaking in the very bidding wars that are helping rich countries hoard vaccines, while the multinationals making them profit unduly from the race. While other African countries are relying on the UN's Global Covax Facility to vaccinate 20% of their populations, South Africa is "jumping the...