The outbreak of violence and looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng will further delay the country’s vaccination rollout programme. This is according to the Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA).
The Association says independent pharmacies are among the shops looted and medication worth millions of rands have been stolen or destroyed.
Full statement below:
In a statement released by ICPA media spokesperson, Shanaaz Bayat says President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that 200 000 people will be vaccinated daily in the coming days.
She says, however, – this will become impossible, as the Independent pharmacy vaccination sites have been destroyed and looted.
Bayat says the Health Department in KZN has now suspended the province’s vaccine rollout programme due to the protest.
She added that many vulnerable citizens will not be able to access their chronic medication or obtain urgent acute medication from their pharmacies, as they have either been looted or destroyed.
The ICPA is calling on government to deploy security or the SANDF to guard their pharmacies.
Gauteng hospitals under immense strain as COVID-19 admissions increase:
On Monday President Cyril Ramaphosa authorised the deployment of the South African Defence Force to support the South African Police Service to restore law and order in the two provinces.
The President’s full address is in the video below:
Meanwhile, Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Defence says it will urgently convene on Wednesday to meet with Defence Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula, and senior management of the National Defence Force.
The Joint Committee says it will receive a briefing on the security situation in the country and other related matters amid widespread looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
The committee says it also supports the deployment of soldiers to restore calm.
The Joint Defence Committee says it is urgent to meet with the Minister and the top military officials about the internal security situation in the country.
Committee Co-Chairpersons, Cyril Xaba, and Elleck Nchabeleng say they are concerned about the unrest, vandalism of property, and brazen looting of shops in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Xaba and Nchabeleng say they are calling for calm and restoration of law and order.
Nchabeleng says when the committee meets on Wednesday, they want to ascertain the role of the SANDF in maintaining compliance with the rule of law in the two provinces.
Members of SANDF stationed at national key points: