Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, John Steenhuisen, says the Western Cape is better prepared to deal with an expected third wave of COVID-19 than other provinces.

He was speaking at a party event to reflect on the past year of the lockdown.

The Western Cape government says it has tried to procure its own vaccines, but has been turned down by pharmaceutical companies who only deal with the national government.

Steenhuisen says the province’s health system is capable of functioning during lockdowns.

“I think that’s exactly what the Western Cape did; they used the lockdown period to prepare, so the point is now we don’t need the ICC anymore, because they’ve prepared the system now to deal with any potential fall-out.

You’re going to see again with the third wave, it’s going to be people in provinces like KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and others where there is just a completely incompetent government, where those citizens are going to be without hospital beds, without oxygen, unlike the WC that’s gone out there and prepared.”

Analysing the COVID-19 inoculation rollout in SA and globally:

The DA says at the current rate of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, it will take almost 20 years to vaccinate enough people for the country to return to normal. It is now exactly a year ago that the country went on lockdown which saw the shutting down of borders, schools and other economic activities to prevent a rapid spread of the coronavirus. Only essential services were allowed to operate.

DA National spokesperson, Siviwe Gwarube, says more than 207 000 South Africans have been vaccinated since last month, most of them healthcare workers.

“Countries the world over are vaccinating people in their hundreds of thousands daily and yet our vaccine rollout plan is essentially dead in the water. The likes of Rwanda are averaging 140 thousand vaccinations a day, Chile a 100 thousand vaccinations a day. And yet as of yesterday, it marked three days running with zero vaccinations being administered in SA,” says Gwarube.

Government plans to have inoculated 15 million healthcare workers by the end of next month and plans to implement phase two between May and October.