Ex-chief justice, Sandile Ngcobo to head vaccine oversight fund
Cape Town - Retired chief justice Sandile Ngcobo has been appointed as the chairperson of the No Fault Compensation Fund that will oversee the protection and cover for citizens and manufacturers against any adverse effects of the vaccines.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced in Parliament that this was one of the measures to ensure the full protection of citizens.
South Africa bought millions of vaccines across the globe from different manufactures.
Mkhize said the fund would start its work soon.
“We are pleased that (on Tuesday) the NCCC (National Coronavirus Command Council) accepted the recommendation for the draft regulations to be published for public comments.
“This will mean that South Africans will have an opportunity to make their input and comments on the draft regulations.
“This period will be for five days.
“We wish to emphasise that we recognise that this period is shorter when compared to the normal public consultation processes that is followed by Parliament.
“However, we believe that it gives us an opportunity to implement the Vaccine Adverse Events Compensation Scheme at the same time as we start the rollout of the vaccines that have been acquired.
“This is important to us as government as we will only be complying with the terms of the agreements.
“But this will also be a guarantee and assurance to each citizen that their rights are fully protected and there is sufficient recourse in place should they experience adverse events after being vaccinated,” said Mkhize.
He said that they would consider all public comments before they gazette the regulations for the fund by April 22.
He said they wanted the scheme to be as independent as possible.
It is this context that they went for Ngcobo as the chairperson.
“Honourable chair, as we have publicly announced that we intend for the NCF structure to be independent, have the credibility and skill that is required,” said Mkhize.
He said Ngcobo was the right man for the job.
“We believe that his extensive experience as a jurist including having headed the highest court in our land, the Constitutional Court and his recent experience to health-related complexities as the Health Market Enquiry chair, makes him as ideal candidate to oversee that all claims and processes followed by the NFC fund uphold the principles of fairness, transparency, equity and protect the constitutional rights of all our citizens,” said Mkhize.
“This therefore shows our preparedness that while we have fully indemnified the manufacturers against any third-party claims, we have also put in place sufficient mechanism to protect our citizens,” he said.
Mkhize did not say how much would be allocated to the fund by the National Treasury.