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Parly committee wants to see SA be more self-reliant with PPE procurement

Parliament’s Trade, Industry and Competition portfolio committee heard that the production of N95 masks increased by a million masks per month, while the monthly production of surgical masks increased by 16 million.

Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - Parliament’s Trade, Industry and Competition portfolio committee has stressed the importance of South Africa becoming more self-reliant on the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The committee received an update from the department on Thursday on the local production of mechanical ventilators as well as the production of PPE.

When a surge in COVID-19 cases and rising global demand for mechanical ventilators threatened South Africa’s effective response to the pandemic, the Department of Trade and Industry jumped into action.

Through the National Ventilator Project, run by the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, 2,000 non-invasive mechanical ventilators have so far been produced locally.

Parliament’s Trade, Industry and Competition portfolio committee heard that the production of N95 masks increased by a million masks per month, while the monthly production of surgical masks increased by 16 million.

Through its Essential Supplies Intervention programme, the Independent Development Corporation of South Africa has approved 12 applications valued at R476 million.

This will see an increase in the production of essential products needed to fight COVID-19.

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