KZN premier urges people to get vaccinated during Phoenix peace march
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KWAZULU-NATAL Premier Sihle Zikalala has urged people at a peace march in Phoenix, north of Durban, to take the Covid-19 vaccination as it is vital in overcoming the virus and restoring stability to the province.
Zikalala used the platform at the event to push the provincial government’s vaccination drive, which intends to inoculate at least 2.9 million people by October this year.
The province has so far administered 2.3 million doses of the Covid jab and has a death toll of 14 084 with 36 781 active cases.
“We therefore say, let us build unity and harmony. Let us fight Covid-19 through vaccination. Vaccination is the only way that will bring back stability,” Zikalala said.
The march was held to promote peace between the residents of Phoenix, following the violence that took place as a result of a mass protest against the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma.
A total of 36 people from the Phoenix, Bhambayi, Inanda, Zwelisha and Amaoti areas were killed during the unrest, all of whom were remembered with a white dove at the event held after the march in the Bhambayi Stadium.
MEC for Economic Development Ravi Pillay, MEC for Social Development Nonhlanhla Khoza, MEC of Transport and Community Safety Peggy Nkonyeni as well as the chief Whip for eThekwini Municipality, Sibongiseni Mkhize, were present.
“Only through sustained peace, not through repression, violence or the barrel of the gun, can we manifest the promise of a free, united, non-racial, non-sexist, equal and prosperous society.
“During the tragic events of July where 300 people lost their lives in the looting and violence across KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, much attention was focused on Phoenix,” Zikalala said.
“Criminal elements also exploited the situation to kill and maim. That criminal intent had a racial bent and we must say with one voice - African and Indian, young and old, Christian, Muslim and Hindu - that we condemn that without any reservation.
“Those persons charged with the killings must be dealt with appropriately and sternly in our criminal justice system. Wounds will never heal until and unless there is demonstrable justice in all its facets. We walk these streets today in the belief that peace and justice is possible,” Zikalala added.