SAPTU is hugely dissatisfied with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that the vaccine against COVID-19 will only be available in South Africa during the second quarter of 2021.
Last night, the president announced that 4 630 public sector health employees contracted COVID-19 during December, bringing the total number infected since the start of the pandemic to over 41,000.
“Our members are on the frontlines risking their lives every day,” says Adv Ben van der Walt, the general secretary of SAPTU. “Their protection and safety should be foremost every single day. It is inconceivable to think they will have to wait until around April next year to receive the vaccine.”
SAPTU wants to know why South Africa missed the deadline to pay the 15% deposit of R283 million to secure the country’s entry to the Covax facility and if that played a role in the vaccine’s late delivery.
“We will be writing to the relevant departments to confirm that public health workers – our members – will be first in line to receive the vaccine,” says Adv Van der Walt. “We will further enquire as to how South Africa will ensure the timely payment of the outstanding amount.
“We want to urge South Africans to consider the lives of the country’s medical personnel in their day to day activities. Please be safe; wear your masks, sanitise and keep your social distance.”
Issued by: SAPTU
Date: 29 December 2020
Enquiries: Adv Ben van der Walt, General Secretary SAPTU Email: email@example.com