EFF leader Julius Malema and his deputy Floyd Shivambu are expected to lead a march to the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority’s (SAHPRA) headquarters.

Scores of EFF supporters have gathered in the Pretoria CBD ahead of the protest march.

The party is demanding that the regulator speed up its approval of COVID-19 vaccines to curb the spread of the virus.

Some EFF members say they’re tired of wearing masks and they want vaccines to be made available for all citizens as a matter of urgency.

EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo says SAHPRA has seven days to adhere to their demands or the party will stage a sit-in outside the house of SAHPRA’s CEO.

SAHPRA to assess efficacy of Sinopharm vaccine

Meanwhile, the health regulator said on Wednesday it had received documentation for China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine and will evaluate the data to assess the efficacy of the shot.

Now in the grip of a third wave of infections, South Africa is inoculating its population with Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines, but the rollout has been slow partly due to setbacks in supply.

Additional report by Reuters