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Cape Town – The provincial ANC has urged Prime Minister Alan Winde to abandon plans to try and procure vaccines, following Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s statement that enough vaccines have been purchased and that the provinces did not need to buy theirs.
During the March provincial budget, it was announced that the province had mobilized a war chest of R 2.17 billion to defeat Covid-19 in the Western Cape and that this would be spent to deploy the vaccine, procure the vaccine. and the response to a potential third wave of the pandemic.
During his briefing to Parliament’s portfolio committee on Wednesday, Mkhize said: “Enough vaccines have been purchased for South Africa and all of its provinces. The national government purchased vaccines on behalf of the country, after calculating the needs of the provinces.
“The provinces do not need to buy their own vaccines and if the province buys vaccines it would amount to unnecessary and unnecessary expense,” Mkhize said.
Provincial Opposition Leader Cameron Dugmore (ANC) said: “The ANC in the legislature has said, through our health spokesperson Rachel Windvogel, that Winde is just playing in the gallery, wastes resources and creates division and confusion by saying that the Western Cape will get its own vaccines.
“Winde has received instructions from his federal DA leader, John Steenhuisen, to go down this path for political purposes only. To try to show the DA in a better light. I call on Winde to abandon this plan immediately. It does not mean anything. It’s not necessary. It is already diverting resources and energy to serve a party political agenda, ”said Dugmore.
Dugmore said the ANC will ask the chairman of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts Lulama Mvimbi to engage with the Auditor General on this issue, and will also put it on the agenda of the next Covid-19 ad hoc committee. May 19.
Responding to criticism, Winde said: “During Minister Mkhize’s recent visit, he informed us that the national vaccine procurement program will see a total of 46 million vaccines purchased for the country, of which around 4.7 million will be allocated to the Western Cape. .
“We welcome the Minister’s assurances in this regard. Our teams are ready to vaccinate as many residents as possible, as quickly as possible, so we can save more lives and prevent undue serious illness before a third – and possibly fourth – wave.
“That said, as a risk mitigation strategy, we will continue to maintain the commitment of our vaccine procurement team. This is the responsible thing to do, noting our duty to our residents to ensure that vaccines are available. “
Winde said the province’s risk mitigation approach will give residents the best chance to stay safe and move forward.
He said the province cares about the well-being and dignity of residents and believes that a successful mass vaccination strategy is the only way to defeat the Covid-19 virus, save lives and save the world. economy.