JOHANNESBURG: The administration of potentially lifesaving Covid-19 vaccine jabs has been disrupted in Gauteng, amid rampant looting and violence in the province.
Violent protests, linked to the arrest and calls for the release of former president Jacob Zuma, spread to Gauteng from Sunday, with fiery and violent scenes reported in Jeppestown, Alexandra, Soweto, Vosloorus, and Germiston.
The protests have been followed by the targeting of shops and shopping centres, particularly in KZN, where shopping malls have been set on fire, and shops looted for food and other goods.
The Gauteng Government said it was concerned about the impact of the violence on the province and said that it had affected services across the province.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga said thousands of people in the province struggled to get to work on Monday.
“To this end, some provincial government services, including vaccination sites in the affected areas, have had to temporarily close due to safety concerns, by both the staff and members of the public.
“Emergency Medical Services (EMS) teams are, equally, experiencing difficulty in responding to distress calls in communities, due to limited access.
“The situation is being assessed by the provincial law enforcement agencies, who are now being assisted by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF),” said Mhaga.
The Gauteng province is the most affected province in the country, amid the third wave of the virus.
“As Gauteng and the country are still in the midst of a deadly pandemic, the provincial government remains concerned at the potential spread of Covid-19 during such super-spreader events.
“Hospital admissions continue to increase and are placing a heavy strain on the health care system, in both public and private sectors.
“The provincial government appeals to the people of Gauteng to act responsibly and desist from lawless acts, that result in disruptions of much-needed services by the citizens of Gauteng,” said Mhaga.