by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – BUOYED by the resilience of a majority, President Cyril Ramaphosa is confident South Africa will overcome the second wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The president was writing in his first weekly letter of the year, made available on Monday.
He conceded that the year 2021 would be challenging, with the current wave of COVID-19 infections likely to be followed by further waves.
These, the president said, would threaten the health of people and the recovery of the economy, which is the most advanced in the continent.
“Difficult as this year will be, I am certain that we will overcome the pandemic and set our country firmly on the path to recovery,” Ramaphosa stated.
He said his confidence came from the South African people.
“If I look at how South Africans responded to this crisis from the moment the virus arrived on our shores, I have no doubt that we have the resilience, discipline and ability to defeat this disease.”
South Africa has imposed one of the most stringent regulations against COVID-19 in the world, since the virus was first reported in the country in March 2020.
This has been to the detriment of the economy and social life.
Ramaphosa said while there were exceptions, the vast majority of South Africans understood the need for restrictions on their movement and activities, and thus complied with the regulations government put in place.
“Even more important than compliance, most South Africans took responsibility for themselves and for others, following advice on issues like social distancing, wearing a mask and hand washing.”
South Africa is pinning its hopes on a rollout of vaccines to curb COVID-19.
“Getting enough vaccines as quickly as possible – and making sure that they reach the people who need them – will be one of the biggest tasks of the year,” the president said.
His government is working with partners in business, labour and civil society to ensure vaccines are available early this year.
Discussions are around the global COVAX facility, African Union initiative and local engagements with vaccine manufacturers.
South Africa has confirmed over 1,34 million cases of COVID-19 and over 37 100 deaths. It is the worst outbreak in the continent.
– CAJ News