Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
4 minute read
20 Jan 2021
3:20 pm

How politics have hurt the fight against Covid-19

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

Political scientists, epidemiologists, and doctors agree that politicians - with their heavy-handed authoritarianism, booze bans and cigarette wars - have done more harm than good in fighting the pandemic.

Picture: iStock

Covid-19 has exposed how even governments as ostensibly liberal as South Africa's can abuse their authority in times of crisis and how political power sometimes trumps the need to save lives. This was the sentiment of analysts in the wake of the government facing political pressure to open up about its Covid-19 vaccination plan and policy. From the onset of the National State of Disaster declared on 15 March 2020, the country slipped into an era of unprecedented state control in the new democracy. The declaration of the State of Disaster removed parliamentary oversight of government decisions related to the...