President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country is ready for a vaccine rollout and will get the capacity from “our people”.
Ramaphosa was interviewed on 702 by Clement Manyathela and Tshidi Madia about the war against Covid-19, plans for the battered economy and the challenges facing the ANC on Friday.
“We have decided that we must have a multi-supplier team. We are going them from the AU facility, Covax facility and through direct suppliers including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna. Money is going to be there and Treasury will ensure that there is money. Money is not the issue, the real issue is the pace and time frame of delivery and the whole world is waiting for that.”
Ramaphosa said though the personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement process was riddled with corruption, all measures had been put in place to ensure history didnot repeat itself with the vaccine process.
“I regret that the PPE process happened as it did. When you deal with crooked people, they find all ways around the system. The other issue is that we were doing everything on an emergency basis so people threw out the rule book on the processes.
“Government is going to be the main acquirer, working with private sector. Sourcing is going to be better managed compared to PPE. We are going to have proper management, we’ve learnt from past mistakes.”
Responding to calls for government to bail out struggling businesses, Ramaphosa said the country did not have money for another bailout and was currently focusing on securing vaccines.
“We do not have the money. This is the simple truth. We are constrained. Last year’s relief amounted to about the country’s 10% GDP [gross domestic product] and that was pretty hight for a country like ours. Right now we have to fund the vaccines which will cost a lot of money.”
Ramaphosa further denied accusations made by former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on Friday.
Molefe told the commission that Glencore roped in Ramaphosa as chairperson of Optimum Coal Mining in order to exert political pressure on the power utility’s bosses.
He said: “There is a lot of untruth in saying I got shares to advance the interests of Glencore. It’s far from the truth and people will throw stories around to try and tarnish people. But I will respond to the real facts. I will be having my own opportunity to go and testify before the Zondo commission.”
Ramaphosa further laughed off a question on former president Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane, possibly running for president in 2024.
He responded: “Is he running? That’s interesting. We will see.”