The Democratic Alliance says National Treasury should urgently find the cash to extend the national vaccination programme to include weekends.
The DA says it is an excuse to use budget constraints as a reason not to carry out vaccinations over weekends.
DA Spokesperson on Finance, Geordin Hill-Lewis, says vaccinations should be rolled out seven days a week, given the threat of the third wave of coronavirus infections.
“It is simply not true that for the government to argue that it doesn’t have the overtime budget available to pay nurses to vaccinate South Africans over the weekends. We know that the National Treasury has budgeted in the main budget this year 6-billion rand for the vaccine rollout and has pledged a further 9-billion rand in contingency if it is necessary” says Hill-Lewis.
Hill-Lewis says there is money to pay for overtime for workers administering vaccines.
“It is time now to start using those funds to massively speed up our vaccination efforts because South Africans are urgently awaiting their vaccine. Funding and overtime budget should never be a roadblock to rolling out faster vaccination. The only hurdle should be access to supply of vaccines into the country” he adds.
The country’s economic-hub Gauteng is currently worst hit.
Hill-Lewis’ views in the audio below: