Government has made little progress in delivering promises: Steenhuisen

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Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen has accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of dressing up his State of the Nation Address by quoting a poem from American renowned poet Maya Angelou, Still I rise.

Steenhuisen was speaking during the debate on the President’s State of the Nation Address in Parliament today. He says the President has been making promises but there has been little progress since he took office three years ago.

Steenhuisen says the way the government has handled the COVID-19 vaccine acquisition, corruption, and failure to fix the public service is an indication that things are not improving.

“But it means nothing when it is the government’s actions and policies that are actually keeping people down so you cannot tell people to rise when it is government and unjust irrational decisions this past 11 months that have destroyed the livelihoods and kept them pinned down. You cannot tell the people to rise when the factions in your own party people cannot rise with a boot on their neck.”

Fight against corruption

African National Congress (ANC) Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina, who was leading the SONA debate, says she has instructed her caucus to leave no stone unturned in holding accountable those accused of corruption.

This follows widespread allegations of corruption in the procurement of COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment.

She says they have demonstrated their commitment in fighting corruption in the manner in which they have handled the first Auditor General’s report on the COVID-19 Relief Fund.

“We will ensure that this sixth Parliament remains consistent in taking action against corruption and crime regardless of who is implicated. We’ve already demonstrated this commitment in the manner in which we have proceeded with the AG’s first report on the expenditure of COVID- 19 Relief Fund. The oversight committees have called for accountability, no member of the ANC has been instructed to cover up corruption.”

Majodina has also called for South Africans to respect the constitution: 

Vaccination process

Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize has confirmed that 80 000 healthcare workers will be vaccinated in the next two weeks with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Mkhize says 20 vaccination centres have been identified across the country.

More than 160 vaccinators will be deployed who will each vaccinate approximately 48 people a day. Mkhize confirmed that an additional 500 000 of the nine million doses of the J&J vaccine South Africa has secured are expected to arrive in the country over the next four weeks.

He said Johnson &Johnson has applied to South African Health Products Regulatory Authority for emergency use of this vaccine and that it is expected to be granted.