President Cyril Ramaphosa has told Parliament that the economy has already begun a steady recovery from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The President was replying to the debate on his State of the Nation Address.
He strongly rejected criticism of government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the state’s key goal has been to save lives and livelihoods.
Over the past two days, opposition parties have criticised government for the late procurement of vaccines, the poor efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccination against the new variant; and other issues. Ramaphosa says government has led and protected South Africans since the pandemic began.
Opposition parties poke holes in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address:
The President says things are picking up.
“The economy is already showing signs of a strong recovery that is on the horizon. Just yesterday, we received new results from the third wave of the NIDS cram survey, which is a collaboration amongst several universities which has been tracking the impact on households of the pandemic. This data shows that by October last year, total employment had recovered to almost reach the level that we saw in February just before the pandemic. This recovery in employment is as a result of both the phased reopening of the economy as well as the success of relief measures such as the UIF Ters that were implemented.”
‘SA will rise from COVID-19 impact’
Ramaphosa has emphasised how the country will rise from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The President has conceded that there have been mishaps. These include problems with the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine regarding the new variant of the virus.
South Africa started rolling out Johnson and Johnson vaccinations across the country on Wednesday, with priority given to health workers.
Ramaphosa says many people doubted government’s ability to administer the vaccine.
“And we’ve been hearing doomsday stories that there’s going to be chaos, collapse. Pause for a moment South Africans and look at our capabilities; they didn’t come by chance, they have been developed over many years. Yes, there has been mistakes, we stumbled and risen up; we have been working.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa replies to SONA debate: