President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Tuesday that an inter-ministerial committee on Covid-19 vaccines has been established, which will be chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza.
Ramaphosa said he would chair the first meeting of the inter-ministerial committee on vaccines and that the committee is meant to make government cooperate more effectively in implementing the already developed strategy on vaccines.
The president said the inter ministerial committee will deal with the actual mechanics around the distribution of the vaccines and ensure that key government departments play their role effectively.
More than 40 million South Africans are targeted for being vaccinated, the president said, adding that “this will be a massive project”.
Coordinating teams have been set up and businesses will work with government in dealing with the rollout of the vaccines, Ramaphosa said.
During Ramaphosa’s address at the ANC’s progressive business forum on Tuesday, the president said he was pleased that South Africans are showing a keen interest in the vaccines and that more people have said that getting the vaccines was the right way to go.
Ramaphosa said South Africans were right in wanting to get more details on the vaccines, including information such as where they will be purchased, at what cost, and when will they arrive in the country, as well as the people who will be prioritised in terms of getting vaccinated and the phases that government will implement in distributing the vaccines.
It was for this reason that government was treating the issue of vaccines seriously, Ramaphosa added.
The government believes that the country has reached the stage where Covid-19 can be effectively defeated as long as people continue to observe protocols, Ramaphosa said, adding that the vaccines will be “a major boost” in the fight against the disease.
South Africa will be able to pay for the vaccines, Ramaphosa assured.