President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on companies that manufacture vaccines not to use profit as motivation to save lives during the coronavirus pandemic. He was speaking in an interview with the SABC after the European Union-African Union summit in Brussels.
At the summit, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced the first six African countries, including South Africa, that will receive the technology needed to produce mRNAvaccines.
Ramaphosa says he along with other African leaders made the concern about profits very clear at the summit.
“This pandemic should be under-pinned by generosity, solidarity and public good intentions. This is what we have been arguing that profit should not motivate people to make more and more money to save more and more lives.
We’ve put the message very strongly. I believe that with the process that’s now been put in place, there’s going to be commission to commission, that is African Union Commission and the European Union Commission.
They will try to see that agreement can be reached which can then be taken forward at the WTO.”
The President says even though government is not able to create as many jobs as it would like due to financial constraints, addressing the country’s high unemployment remains its top priority.
Ramaphosa says governments is also determined to create a conducive environment for investment and for business to grown and create jobs.
“The number of people who are unemployed in our country are just unsustainably high. But we also want to focus on how we can protect those who are currently really challenged by being unemployed, by being vulnerable. But we also want to focus on investments increasing the number of investments and we do that through creating an environment in which businesses can invest through which more jobs can be created.”
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