DA calls for urgent Parly debate on SA’s COVID-19 vaccination plan

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday night that the country had forked out R327 million to the World Health Organisation’s Covax facility to secure a vaccine.

A National Assembly hybrid plenary sitting in line with COVID-19 regulations on 27 August 2020. Picture: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants Parliament to convene an emergency meeting before the new year to debate the country’s COVID-19 vaccination plan.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday night that the country had forked out R327 million to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Covax facility to secure a vaccine.

The DA is seeking clarity on this.

The party on Tuesday said it had written to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise asking her to grant its request for a parliamentary sitting within the week.

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In a statement, DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone said South Africans deserved to know the truth about the country’s plans to fully acquire the much-need treatment.

“We believe that an urgent debate of national importance will allow members of Parliament to critically engage Cabinet ministers such as Tito Mboweni, Zweli Mkhize, and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on their respective departments’ plans and the alternatives they considered (such as the DA’s proposal to halt the bailout of SAA and redirect the money to acquiring vaccines). The debate can easily be held in a virtual plenary before the clock ticks into the new year,” Mazzone said.

She added: “As we approach the new year, South Africans deserve to know the truth about the government’s vaccination plans and what awaits our nation in 2021. We cannot afford to get locked into a cycle of lockdowns that damage our economy and destroys lives and livelihoods.”

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