President Cyril Ramaphosa File picture: GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa File picture: GCIS

Ramaphosa hints at allowing fans, but cautions parties during election campaigns

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Oct 1, 2021

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has given an indication that more sporting activities could allow fans back into the stadium if people are vaccinated.

He said they were targeting to vaccinate 70% of the people by the end of the year and this would allow government to allow fans back into the stadium.

This comes as government ramps up the vaccination campaign.

“We have set ourselves the target of vaccinating 70 per cent of the adult population in South Africa by the end of the year. If we reach this target, the Department of Health estimates that we could save up to 20 000 lives.

’’That represents 20 000 people – mothers, fathers, sons and daughters – whose death can be prevented if the majority of us chooses to get vaccinated.

’’To reach our goal we need to administer an additional 16 million vaccine doses this year, which amounts to around 250 000 first dose vaccinations every single workday of every week until mid-December.

’’We know that the older you are, the greater the risk that you will get severely ill with Covid-19 or that you will need to be hospitalised. We also know that the risk of death from Covid-19 is higher among the elderly than younger people,” said Ramaphosa.

He also called on political parties to be cautious when they campaign .

The IEC has said it would stick to Covid-19 protocols during the election period.

The ANC and EFF have been accused by other parties of hosting super-spreader events during the launch of their manifesto launches in Johannesburg and Tshwane and other campaign activities where large crowds gathered.

“Campaign activities pose the greatest risk to a surge in new infections. Every one of us – from party leaders and organisers to supporters and elections staff – has a responsibility to ensure that the regulations are followed and all health protocols are observed during the election campaign.

’’The Independent Electoral Commission is putting in place measures to ensure that every voter can freely exercise their democratic right without being exposed to unnecessary risk,” said Ramaphosa.

He said the country has been moved from adjusted level 2 to level 1 with more people to be allowed to gather outside and indoors.

However, the end of the third wave did not mean Covid-19 was over. The people still needed to stick to Covid-19 protocols. He said the best defence against the virus was vaccination.

The president said the fans can return to the stadiums if 70% of the people are vaccinated.

“The sports fans among us cannot wait to return to FNB, to Moses Mabhida, to Royal Bafokeng, to Newlands, and to Loftus to cheer on our teams.

’’We want to socialise freely again at restaurants, taverns and theatres, and we want to travel freely whenever and wherever we choose. These freedoms, which we all long for, are within our reach.

“But we will only be able to get there if we are all vaccinated and we all continue to observe the basic health protocols.

“Since we launched our national vaccination drive, it has been gathering pace. To date we have administered over 17 million vaccine doses.

’’Over 8.6 million people are fully vaccinated, which is more than one-fifth of the adult population,” said Ramaphosa.

Political Bureau

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