Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
23 Feb 2021
5:12 pm

Mkhize tells parly why SA signed vaccine non-disclosure agreements

Siyanda Ndlovu

Allows the country to gain critical insight into the manufacturers' 'supply lines, their manufacturing plans and possible blockages in the manufacturing pipeline'.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Tuesday told Parliament that signing non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with most of the leading vaccine manufacturers when buying vaccines was to the benefit of South Africa.

Mkhize said that this allows the country to gain critical insight into the manufacturers’ “supply lines, their manufacturing plans, and possible blockages in the manufacturing pipeline”.

“It also allows us to pursue negotiations over prices, volumes and timelines for delivery,” said Mkhize.

He was addressing the National Assembly during the debate on the country’s vaccination programme.

ALSO READ: DA goes to court to force government to  hand over Covid-19 vaccine plan

“It is within these NDAs that certain other conditions come to light – among these have been the principles of indemnity to be provided by the government to its citizens for any adverse effects arising from vaccinations.”

He said some companies have required the government to “create a no-fault compensation fund as an expression of such indemnity”.

“Having consulted a number of other countries it has become clear that these conditions are standard across the globe. Our signing of the final agreements has required we thoroughly consult with the national treasury to provide guidance so that all relevant legislation is upheld before final agreements are signed.”

Mkhize said that this process has proven to be quite onerous because the country finds itself in a situation for which there is no precedent.

He said when all the contracts have been signed they will be made available to the treasury and the Auditor-General’s office for their perusal.

ALSO READ: SA switches gear on Covid-19 vaccine strategy – Mkhize

Mkhize addressed the issue of non-disclosure agreements to correct the “erroneous impression that there are questions that we are avoiding because of the NDAs”.

“Rather, it should be understood that NDAs must be respected in order to protect the process of timely acquisition of vaccines.”

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.