ANC Caucus welcomes announcements by President Ramaphosa on the Covid-19 Vaccine and easing of Alert Level 3 Restrictions

2 February 2021

The ANC in Parliament welcomes the announcements by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday evening, 1 February 2021, on the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine as well as the adjustments made to Alert Level 3 of lockdown to enable economic activity to resume.

We fully support the effort demonstrated by government in securing the first consignment, consisting of one million doses of the Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute in India, which arrived at OR Tambo International Airport on Monday afternoon. The arrival of the vaccine in South Africa brought much needed hope to the people of our nation and is a much-needed intervention in protecting and saving the lives of healthcare and frontline workers and the nation.

We further welcome and applaud the announcement of additional supplies which have been secured by our government. The announcement of a further 12 million doses from the global COVAX facility, 9 million vaccine doses from Johnson & Johnson and 20 million vaccine doses from Pfizer shows the commitment our government has in ensuring that South Africa receives as many doses of vaccines as possible, with the aim of reaching herd immunity soon.

The ANC also welcomes and supports the decision taken by our government to keep the country at Alert Level 3 and introduce adjusted measures which allow the easing of restrictions. This move comes at a time when our country is in dire need of economic activity to save livelihoods

We urge South Africans that, as the country eases more restrictions, we continue to adhere to the health and safety regulations to mitigate the spread of the virus. The country is still faced with a deadly pandemic, it is critical that we keep safe to avoid the resurgence of Covid-19 cases.

During his address to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa said this about the progressive and revolutionary people of Cuba:

“This evening, I wish to recognise in particular the selfless and unwavering assistance of the government and people of Cuba.

True to its history, this small island nation has demonstrated solidarity with the hardest hit countries and sent more than 3,700 Cubans throughout the world to assist in the fight against COVID-19

In recognition of this effort, the South African Cabinet has approved a proposal to nominate the Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specialised in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics – or as they commonly are known, the Cuban Medical Brigade – for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.

In Africa alone, the Brigade had treated more than 38,000 people by the end of November 2020. They are currently still active in many countries, including here in South Africa.

We extend our sincerest gratitude to the people of Cuba for this great demonstration of solidarity and humanity”.

As the ANC Caucus, in the spirit of International Solidarity, we support the nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize for the Cuban Brigade and thank them for their sacrifices thus far in coming to our aid as long and trusted allies.

In conclusion, this is not the time to loosen our guard and thus we need to maintain high levels of discipline and maximum vigilance.

We must continue to wear our masks, sanitize, wash our hands and maintain social distance.

Issued by the Office of the Chief Whip, Comrade Pemmy Majodina

For more information contact:

Nomfanelo Kota on 067 415 1089