Deputy President David Mabuza says government intends to step up the pace of vaccinations during phase two of the rollout plan with doses of the Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

The second batch of Pfizer vaccines reached South Africa at the weekend with the rollout of the two-shot vaccination expected to begin next week, targeting healthcare workers.

The elderly are also due to begin receiving vaccines this month.

Mabuza was answering questions at the National Assembly.

“Our vaccination process has been very slow because of a number of factors. Of course, our people must understand that our pace of vaccinations depends on the availability of the vaccines. As a country we have secured two suppliers; J&J and Pfizer.  We have signed the contracts and we are now expecting them to deliver on those doses. So we are going to proceed and we need to be patient as we are going to start on the 17th if everything goes well.”

Economy recovery

Mabuza says he is confident that the economy will grow faster as the country continues to adapt to working under conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mabuza says while investment in the country has reduced measures are being taken to revive the economy.

He says the joint venture between the Presidency and National Treasury, Operation Vulindlela, is among the initiatives government has taken to encourage economic recovery.

“It’s not going to be an easy journey to get out of this current situation. It’s going to be a very tedious exercise. But I am confident that day by day the amount of energy that we put in the reconstruction of our economy will finally see the light of the day.”

Economy projected to expand by 5.4%, but developing world lags behind due to  COVID-19: