KZN townships and farms need to expedite vaccinations - Mabuza
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Durban – With the ANC's top brass descending on Kwazulu-Natal this weekend ahead of the local government elections, Deputy President David Mabuza yesterday called on the province to intensify its Covid-19 vaccination efforts in townships and farming communities.
Mabuza was speaking at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban during the launch of the Department of Sports, Arts and Cultures' vaccination plan titled "Return to play: It's in your hands".
He was joined by Minister of Sports Nathi Mthethwa, KZN health MEC Nomagugu Simelane, Deputy Health Minister Sibongiseni Dhlomo and Speaker of eThekwini municipality Weziwe Thusi.
Mabuza also noted that the arts and entertainment as well as the hospitality industry, which are billion rand industries and valuable contributors to the country’s GDP, were among the hardest hit by the pandemic.
“The areas that are currently lagging behind are our townships and our farming communities, the province of KwaZulu-Natal needs to intensify its effort in this regard and take vaccination sites to our townships and to our farming communities,” Mabuza said.
South African and ANC deputy president David Mabuza says the Kwazulu-Natal province needs to intensify vaccine efforts in townships and farming communities.— Jehran Daniel (@JehranD) October 8, 2021
Video: @JehranD @IOL @ANCKZN pic.twitter.com/k3Suf1PzY3
He said the cancellation of big events that the province normally hosted, such as the Durban July and the Comrades marathon which attracted a large number of tourists to KZN, had affected the province’s economy.
The Deputy President said that if the citizens were vaccinated against the virus, sporting events and big events could resume and the country return to normalcy. Mabuza said they were now seeing other countries that have vaccinated enough of their population returning steadily to normal life.
The Moses Mabhida stadium was filled with supporters and sports personalities including the University of Zululand Choir, players from Golden Arrows and South African Paralympic bronze medallist Tyrone Pillay. Multi-award winning musical group Ladysmith Black Mambazo also gave the crowd a performance.
Sports Minister Mthethwa said his department had committed itself to its city to city vaccination campaign, and it had increased in intensity since the first stage in Johannesburg.
“It is good for the country, good for the economy, good for the health of the country and its people to vaccinate. We stand a better chance to protect our lives and those around us. We need to deal with misinformation and information peddling which is doing the rounds in our society about vaccinations. Vaccination is going to help us open our country. It will help us fill up stadiums and cinema’s and so on,” Mthethwa said.
KZN health MEC Nomagugu Simelane says vaccine hesitancy has been driven by misinformation. She says the province has vaccinated 27% of its 7.2 million target and that the provincial government has its work cut out.— Jehran Daniel (@JehranD) October 8, 2021
Video:@JehranD @IOL @kznhealth @ANCKZN pic.twitter.com/ITAF3YXkTk
Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane said the spread of misinformation had slowed down the province’s vaccination numbers and left the province behind on its schedule. She said when the province first began vaccinations, people were “extremely excited” about it.
However, only 27% of the province’s target of 7.2 million people had been inoculated so far.
“From those figures you can clearly tell that we have our work cut out for us. That is why we need as many ambassadors as possible. We need all of you to go out and be representatives of this good initiative,” Simelane said.