Activists demand transparency over Covid-19 vaccine roll out

Right2Know pickets outside Gauteng health department

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Photo of protesters

Protestors picket outside the department of health in Gauteng, calling for transparency in the vaccination processes in South Africa. Photo: Masego Mafata

About 20 people picketed outside the Department of Health in Johannesburg on Wednesday morning, calling on government to be more transparent about the acquisition and rollout of vaccines in South Africa, and to vaccinate everyone.

The picket organised by the Right2Know (R2K) campaign was supported by civil society organisations C19 Community Organising Working Group (COWG) and Simunye Workers Forum.

Simphiwe Zwane, a member of the C19 COWG, said a lack of transparency was enabling the spread of misinformation about the vaccines.

“There are a lot of rumours … People reject it [the vaccine] but they don’t even have information. We need transparency,” she said.

Convenor for the right to protest at R2K and the Gauteng coordinator of the Fight Inequality Alliance, General Moyo, said communication with poor and working-class people about the vaccine roll out was weak.

“We want to be told how we are going to get the vaccine and when we will be vaccinated,” said Moyo.

He said corruption had damaged public trust. He said transparency would stop corruption around the acquisition and roll out of the vaccine.

R2K released a media statement with questions for government, but it is yet to submit a memorandum to the Presidency and the Minister of Health, said Bongani Xezi, R2K provincial organiser in Gauteng.

“We are here outside the Gauteng health department as a symbol of putting pressure on the national health department. We are not expecting people from the Gauteng department of health to come and address us. We are emailing our grievances to the presidency and the minister of health today,” he said.

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TOPICS:  Corruption Covid-19 Health

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