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Mboweni dismisses reports SA missed payment deadline for COVID vaccine

The finance minister confirmed the fund has earmarked R500 million for vaccine stocks and still has plenty of time to pay it.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivers his medium-term budget policy statement on 28 October 2020. Image: @tito_mboweni/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Friday dismissed reports that South Africa missed the payment deadline for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Mboweni was responding to a debate on the medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) in the National Assembly yesterday as parliament wrapped up its business for the year.

He presented the MTBPS for adoption by the National Assembly.

The Democratic Alliance’s Geordin Hill Lewis asked Mboweni about reports that treasury failed to pay on time… putting the nation’s vaccine prospects in jeopardy.

“How do you justify missing the deadline to pay for the COVID vaccine but paying for the SAA bailout before that appropriation has been approved by this House today.”

Mboweni hit back, saying the Solidarity Fund had not missed any deadline and would be making payment this month.

“It’s very important that when you’re an adult person, you must first inform yourself of all the facts before you open your mouth. The fact of the matter is that we have sufficient time, until around 15 December, to do the payment so we’ve not missed the payment.”

The finance minister confirmed the fund has earmarked R500 million for vaccine stocks and still has plenty of time to pay it.

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