Modise mulls DA’s request for urgent debate on COVID vaccine

The DA is hoping to get the National Assembly to deal with the matter; a request Parliament's spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said was still under consideration.

FILE: Speaker of the National Assembly Thandi Modise. Picture: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Speaker in the National Assembly Thandi Modise is mulling over a request by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to convene an urgent debate on the country’s coronavirus vaccination plan.

The party made the request following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Monday evening address – asking for the sitting to take place before the end of 2020.

The year comes to an end at midnight.

While there is a mad scramble by countries across the globe to gain access to COVID-19 vaccines, the African National Congress government has come under fire over its approach.

For many, there’s simply too much uncertainty following delayed payments to the WHO’s Covax programme and the lack of a clear roll out plan.

The DA is hoping to get the National Assembly to deal with the matter; a request Parliament's spokesperson Moloto Mothapo Mothapo said was still under consideration.

“She is currently applying her mind on the request and she will make a determination based on the various factors provided in the rules for scheduling of such debates. Once she has concluded the process, she will communicate with the DA’s chief whip and to the public.”

While Modise thinks about the request, some have accused the DA of jumping the gun, questioning what the party expected to see happen following the debate.

South Africa is hoping to receive the vaccine in the first quarter of 2021 - with health care practitioners, essential service workers and the sick set to be prioritised.

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