Cosatu ‘damn worried’ by govt's poor implementation of COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Cosatu has described government’s efforts so far in the rollout of the vaccine programme as gross incompetence, which came with deadly consequences.

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG – The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said that it was “damn worried” about government’s pronouncements of a vaccine programme that lacked implementation.

Following its special central executive committee meeting, Cosatu raised concerns over the African National Congress (ANC) government’s ability to meet its own targets, flagging that only 280,000 out of the country’s 1.25 million healthcare workers had been vaccinated so far.

It said that while it had noted the announcement from Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, of the country having secured more vaccines, it’s alarmed by the slow pace of the rollout.

READ: Health Department working on a revised strategy for COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Cosatu, much like many South Africans, was worried about the rollout of the much-needed COVID -19 vaccines.
It described government’s efforts so far as gross incompetence, which came with deadly consequences.

Its general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said that government could not just thumb-suck information regarding the inoculation of workers.

“We don’t know whether they will be able to vaccinate the health workers, the mining workers, and all the workers regarded as essential workers by the target that they are talking about.”

He complained that government’s commitment to jab 200,000 people a day had fallen short, yet no heads had rolled.

Ntshalintshali said that Cosatu had told the ANC that it did not want to be part of promises that could not be delivered.

“Any promises must be supported by evidence of when and how it’s going to happen. If it doesn’t happen, what are the consequence management for that.”

This week, the national Health Department announced that over a million Johnson & Johnson vaccines would be delivered in the coming weeks.

WATCH: Phase 2 of SA vaccine rollout still set for May - Mkhize

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.