Deputy President David Mabuza on Wednesday called on South Africans to come out in their numbers to get vaccinated against Covid-19, in order to revive sport and cultural events in the country.
Speaking at the launch of the vaccination social mobilisation campaign at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, Mabuza said Covid-19 lockdown restrictions related to entertainment and sporting venues had made it difficult for artists and entertainers to sustain themselves.
He said government’s national vaccination programme was therefore important to revive sport and creative industries to contribute to economic recovery and reconstruction.
“The creative industry and sport economies are key to our economic recovery and reconstruction. Such recovery means opening opportunities for all those involved in the value chain of the sector, either through transportation and selling of merchandise outside stadiums,” Mabuza said.
The vaccination social mobilisation campaign was launched by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. The event was attended by leaders in business, sport, and the creative sectors.
It is part of government efforts to encourage more South Africans to get their jabs after the opening of vaccinations in August to citizens between the ages of 18 and 34.
Government’s objective is to ramp up vaccinations towards reaching 70% of population immunity.
Raging pandemic continues
Mabuza said the coronavirus pandemic would continue to be part of our lives for years to come, and citizens should adapt to live alongside the pandemic, which includes getting vaccinated.
“Like every country across the world, our path to saving lives and economic recovery depends on the accelerated rollout of our vaccination programme to reach required levels of population immunity.
“For those countries who have reached population immunity, including the United Kingdom and Germany, normalcy is returning as they are now able to attend the sporting and cultural events of their choice. In the process, there are positive impacts on their economies,” he said.
The deputy president said government’s call to action to every South African was to vaccinate to reduce the rates of infections, hospitalisation and deaths.
“If we are to revive our vibrant creative industries, return to theatres and stadiums to play and enjoy sport and entertainment, it is important that our vaccination programme is accelerated to reach as many people as possible.”
So far, more than 13 million people have received their Covid-19 jabs.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe