Editorials
2 minute read
18 Jun 2021
6:14 am

Scoring Covid-19 political points: There’s no jab for stupidity

Editorials

The problems with the Covid-19 vaccines often have nothing to do with government.

Picture: Frederic J. Brown/AFP

In the midst of the biggest crisis facing South Africa, the ANC’s comrades could not resist stealing huge chunks of the money intended to help us cope with the Covid-19 emergency.

However, it is also true that our opposition parties have also tried to score cheap – and sometimes dangerous – political points off the crisis.

Malema latest ‘flipflop’

Worst was the Economic Freedom Fighters whose leader, Julius Malema, in another of his famous “flipflops”, urged his supporters not to obey the government’s lockdown restrictions until vaccines are freely available.

That vow followed only days after Malema said the government should close all schools because of the rising coronavirus infections.

Malema laid the blame for the slow vaccine roll-out squarely at the door of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

DA’s took aim, too

In that, he was joined by the Democratic Alliance, which also attacked government for failure to secure sufficient vaccine doses.

Yet both opposition parties ignored the fact that the problems with the Covid-19 vaccines – and particularly the contaminated batch of two million Johnson & Johnson (J&J) jabs – often have nothing to do with government.

Malema’s plea for the use of Chinese and Russian vaccines also ignored the fact these have not yet been approved for use here.

Covid-19 vaccines arriving soon

Yet, if you look at the planned vaccine roll-out from here on, the picture seems a lot brighter. Hundreds of thousands of Pfizer and J&J doses are going to start arriving – and going into the state inventory – from today.

If all goes according to plan, by the end of the year, 60 million does of just those two vaccines will have arrived in the country. This is enough to inoculate 45 million people, which is the target for “community immunity”.

More of a problem is the seeming reluctance of many people to take the vaccination. Sadly, you cannot inoculate against selfishness or stupidity