President Cyril Ramaphosa responds to the Debate on the 2021 State of the Nation Address during a hybrid joint Sitting of Parliament. Picture: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa responds to the Debate on the 2021 State of the Nation Address during a hybrid joint Sitting of Parliament. Picture: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS

SONA Reply: Ramaphosa lauds rapid vaccine roll-out, vows to continue corruption fight

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Feb 18, 2021

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Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated assurances that the government will continue to fight corruption and other forms of malfeasance.

This is despite criticism from opposition parties that he has failed to give direction in his reply to the State of the Nation Address debate on Thursday.

Ramaphosa said the government would not allow the stealing of state resources.

He also said they fully welcomed the roll-out of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“Less than 24 hours after the shipment landed, the first Covid-19 vaccine was administered in our country. Our vaccination programme, our best defence against this pandemic, has begun,” said Ramaphosa.

“This has happened not in a month, not in two months, but now, in mid-February, just as we said we would. Some said we could not do it. They said we had neither the ability nor the will to protect lives. And yet here we are, on the threshold of a new era in our fight against the pandemic.”

He urged many people to register to take vaccines.

He said corruption remained on the radar of government.

LISTEN TO RAMAPHOSA’S REPLY:

The country’s law enforcement agencies have been probing cases linked to PPE tenders worth millions of rand.

Earlier this week, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said authorities had arrested 31 people linked to Covid-19 corruption.

The law agencies have been able to recover millions of rands.

Ramaphosa also told the House on Thursday that the state had been able to provide necessary cover for those affected by Covid-19 with the extension of the R350 grant.

Ramaphosa announced the grant’s extension last Thursday in the Sona, and the South African Social Security Agency said millions of people had benefited from these grants.

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Political Bureau

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